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Report: Celtics close to deal with free agent David West

Dec 9, 2011, 11:36 PM EDT

Phoenix Suns v New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

Well, Boston is going with the “penetrating point guard and shooters” theory. Apparently.

The Celtics are on the verge of signing free agent David West, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. This would be a three-year deal for about $27 million and likely will be a sign-and-trade where Jermaine O’Neal and others will head back to New Orleans (only to be shipped out again), according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

This is an interesting choice for Boston. Not sure I love it. First, you are giving a three-year deal to a guy coming off major knee surgery who missed half of last season. Second, West normally plays the power forward spot, but the Celtics have some guy who plays that spot named Kevin Garnett.

West is maybe as good a pick-and-pop big as there is in the league, which creates some opportunities with Rajon Rondo, who got 26 percent of his offense as the pick-and-roll ball handler and shot 46 percent in that role.

In addition, you can have Rondo drive the lane and have shooters in Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, KG and West around him.

Not sure this is the best fit for the Celtics, but it creates some different looks on a team that needs a few of those if it is going to return to the NBA finals.

West had played for the Hornets with Chris Paul. I’d say that West being gone hurt the Hornets chances of keeping Paul, but that ship has sailed.

  1. snoopy2014 - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    1) How do you maximize West and Garnett together? I guess there are so few true centers left one might be able to masquerade as a center … but it’s really hard to imagine either at the 5.

    2) I think this is partly a move to try to entice Chris Paul to change his mind about Boston. He didn’t want to go to Boston, so they go out and sign one of his best friends.

    3) Will they extend Garnett? Or leave him high and dry with another starting-caliber 4 on the roster?

    • trueballs - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:23 AM

      I like that final lineup. Rondo and 4 shooters. Should be easier for Rondo to penetrate without J’Oneal cloggin up the lane. Who will you leave open from 17-20+ ft.?

      • snoopy2014 - Dec 10, 2011 at 2:02 AM

        Very true. Offensively it’ll work really well. Defensively they’ll be mobile, which works against teams like Miami and the Bulls. If Dwight Howard shows up deep in the playoffs, though, they’ll have some issues guarding him. Or if the Lakers keep their front line.

        But all things considered, Boston is focusing on Miami and Chicago. So this deal does make more sense for them than I thought at first.

  2. nightrain42 - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    So when is Adolph Stern going to veto this sign and trade deal?

    • snoopy2014 - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:59 AM

      No no no. The other owners only get upset when the Lakers improve. Let’s be honest. It’s a Lakers-centric problem. Gilbert couldn’t replicate their success, so now he wants to drag them down with him.

      Because of course it makes sense for a rebuilding team to take on the corpse of Jermaine O’Neal.

      • tk41 - Dec 10, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        J O’Neil said he won’t report, expects to get released & will sign w MIA. So this makes even less sense unless they get a 1st rounder or someone like Jeff Green… which wouldn’t make any sense for the C’s b/c that was their haul for Perk a few months ago.

    • leearmon - Dec 10, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      And the fact that this isn’t vetoed tells you the hypocrisy of the NBA. David West is no Chris Paul, but Jermaine freaking O’Neal?!?!?! How on earth can the NBA even pretend to be a functional league? 24 hours after vetoing a trade that gives them far better players than Jermaine O’Neal they then turn a blind eye and let this go through? Good for the Celtics though.

  3. edweird0 - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:59 AM

    Kurt, I think you meant Eastern Conference Finals.

  4. prkd - Dec 10, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    to go along with what snoopy said…maybe this will aid in getting Chris Paul to sign…what about offering Rondo and Jeff Green (via sign and trade) to NOLA for Paul?

    great for both teams…Hornets get younger and 2 great talents…Paul goes to a championship caliber team, with his friend…and in the east…which is where a west team should want to send him.

    Then the C’s are a center away from having a very legit team to beat. They just added Bass, too, to help with Howard when they meet Orlando (if that is truly where DH will be)

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 10, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      They have made that offer. It fell apart because Paul said he would not sign an extension in Boston, plus NO wants picks or more.

  5. karlton2 - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Somehow this sounds like a way to get the Pacers involved in a Paul trade…

  6. bostonianpride - Dec 10, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Its not a straight up trade because West is a FA, its a sign and trade so the owners can’t really object. Plus West doesn’t want back in NO and the Hornets don’t want West back either because of his knee injuries.

  7. passerby23 - Dec 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    I like this trade. With so many games in a condensed schedule with an aging team, you’re going to need a quality guy who can play extended minutes to give KG some rest. In some cases, KG can play the 5 in a small lineup. A big problem Boston had last year was frontcourt scoring when KG was on the bench. They don’t lose much with West out there.

    The odds of Jermaine O’Neal and his creaky body holding up aren’t great, so I don’t mind the Celtics rolling the dice on this one. I’m hoping they can sign Joel Pryzbilla to fill the void. That would complete them. With this shortened season, depth is going to be crucial.

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