Well, the Posey era is over. This unofficially marks the end of the '07-08 team, and means that the squad we will be seeing in a few months will have some totally new elements, for good or bad. Obviously it's hard to see James go; on an emotional level it's very, very difficult. For while Garnett's intensity was the hallmark behind the championship, and Pierce the ignition, Posey personified what this Celtics team was all about more than anyone else. Without him the Celtics would not have been champions. He was so gritty, so elegantly brutal, that his worth always appeared most apparent in the largest of situations. When all else failed in ATL and Cleveland, Posey was unbowed. No matter how pressure packed the situation, James captured it and was able to make that energy helpful instead of negative. For that we will forever be grateful, and he will remain one of my personal favorites...
And because of Posey's demeanor, and all the little things he does, I am not willing to discount this signing by the Hornets, as unusual as it seems when you already have Julian Wright, Mo Pete and Peja. Posey is one of the few players in the league for which stats really don't seem to do much justice at all. He can be vastly superior than what his PER indicates. But he also can be just an average player, as he often was with Miami. He needs the right situation to thrive, and if New Orleans gives him that environment he might be worth the high cost.
From the Celtics perspective four years and $25 millionish was just too much, and ultimately that's pretty understandable. It means Danny and Wyc are serious about their finances and aren't gonna screw around with cash. At least we hope that's what it means. While the '08 Championship could not have been won without Posey, the '09 Championship can. Now that this team has made it up the mountain, they don't necessarily need a guide to do it again. Posey unquestionably was a guide for this year's team, in everything he did.
So what are Ainge's options? There's plenty, and the Celtics might not land the big fish they want off the bench till February of next year. But it seems rather certain that a veteran swingman is going to be brought in prior to training camp; no one is resting their laurels on Pruitt, Giddens and Walker yet. Tony Allen is back in the picture (did we ever think he would really go away?). So are free agents like Matt Barnes, Carlos Delfino, Kelenna Azubuike, Dorell Wright and Michael Finley. And trades happen in the wink of an eye. So the Celtics should be all right. But it will be different and certainly a tad less salty next season. We'll miss you, Pose.