We Demand To Be Taken Seriously
The news of Reggie Miller’s possible return to the NBA confused and upset me quite a bit this morning. Should this move happen, I wouldn’t begrudge Reggie’s wanting to play another year, or even his hypocrisy. But why, with the little cap room they have left, would the Celtics want a player who needs plays run for him and doesn’t fill one of the team's many needs? Even outside of these issues, picking up Miller runs the risk of turning this year’s Celtics into a sideshow attraction when Pierce, Garnett, and Allen all appear to be on a collective mission.
While I’m not entirely certain why Reggie would want to return to a team that’s still a few players away from being a real championship contender, I have no idea why Ainge would be the one to approach him. Remember when Scottie Pippen wanted to work out for the Lakers last winter. There’s a reason Mitch Kupchak didn’t jump at the chance to sign him. (Danny, you know things are bad when I’m comparing you unfavorably to Kupchak.) As Tom Ziller said earlier today, Miller’s not a difference maker in any situation. The Celtics have too little room under the cap to use it on another scorer, particularly one who hasn’t played in a while and has always needed to get the ball coming off of screens in structured plays. On a related note, SimonOnSports pointed out that the Celtics already signed Eddie House, another player who needs to shoot, after the Garnett trade. What does Reggie bring that isn’t already there?
There isn’t a bevy of terrific role players on the market right now, but Boston should at least take a chance on a guy at a position of need. Plus, if Ainge wanted to spend the veteran minimum on Miller, then he should have just shelled out the extra money to bring on Brevin Knight, who recently jumped to the Clippers for $2 million/year, to play point and mentor Rajon Rondo. I’m not a fan of Ainge’s Scot Pollard signing (you know, because Scot Pollard’s ridiculous and couldn’t get off the bench in Cleveland), but at least he fills a need and doesn’t have to shoot to be successful.
Last week, when the Celtics traded for Garnett, I praised Ainge for finally providing an identity for the organization. It’s impossible not to have a semblance of a game plan now that the roster boasts three players of all-star caliber, but Ainge is doing his best to throw in role players that don’t fit the ostensible blueprint. Now, it is the end of the summer, and Ainge certainly doesn’t have a full list of pieces from which he can pick and choose his players. However, that doesn’t excuse him from making sensible moves. Reggie Miller is not a sensible move.
Luckily, it doesn’t appear that there’s a great chance of Miller heading to Boston. He still hasn’t made up his mind, and in the end I think he’ll end up back on TNT talking like a bad Bill Cosby impersonation and using words like “adversadility.” Ainge, though, should not get a free pass should this deal not work out. Pierce, Garnett, and Allen do not deserve Scot Pollard and Reggie Miller. I’ve already echoed Billups’s comments on this trade, but I’ll quote him this time: “It's about about three guys getting one more chance.” Don’t screw it up for them, Danny. Don’t make this team a joke.