Parquet Wishes and Leprechaun Dreams

Monday, July 14, 2008

The NEW New Big Three: O'Bryant, Posey ... Marbury?

Okay, we're a week or so into the 2008 Summer of Free Agency ... Thus far, the Celtics have signed the guy whose name sounds really REALLY Irish - even his friggin' middle name is "Fitzgerald" - but isn't Irish at all (
The Celtics are hoping a more mature Patrick O'Bryant will reach his potential after failing to do so with Golden State.

The Celtics signed the seldom-used 7-foot, 250-pound center yesterday to a two-year, $3 million contract, according to an NBA source. O'Bryant is expected to back up Kendrick Perkins. O'Bryant, 22, was the ninth pick in the 2006 NBA draft, but rarely played during two seasons with the Warriors.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to come in the league and prove myself," said O'Bryant yesterday in a phone interview. "I didn't do a very good job the first two years. I need to prove I belong here and belong for a long time."

O'Bryant averaged 13.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks during his sophomore season at Bradley, then left school for the NBA. The Blaine, Minn., native averaged only 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 16 games as a rookie in the 2006-07 season, although he averaged 12 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 25 games for Bakersfield in the National Basketball Development League.
Now, it's looking more and more like Danny Ainge's gambit concerning James Posey is going to pay off (
Celtics forward James Posey's agent, Mark Bartelstien, said Sunday that there could be "something" contract-wise for his client on Monday. Bartelstien would not divulge the interested teams, but an NBA source said that the Hornets seem to be Boston's main competition. The Celtics seem willing to give Posey the full $5.5 mid-level exception, but it seems doubtful that it will be offered more than two years. The 31-year-old seems interested in getting a four-year deal. Other teams potentially interested in Posey include Detroit, Washington and Cleveland.
And finally, while there were rumblings that mercurial point guard Stephon's Marbury previous relationship with Kevin Garnett might land him in a Celtics uniform, there now is apparently no need for concern (
Conventional wisdom is that the Sixers and Wizards have fared the best so far this offseason. And sure, signing Elton Brand or re-signing Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison is great. But sometimes the best deal is the one you don't make. Or can't make.

The quite available Stephon Marbury appeared in Las Vegas on Friday with a new tattoo. A tattoo on his face. A tattoo on his face of the No. 3 -- the uniform number he has worn for his entire career and the inspiration for the logo of his Starbury line of shoes.

That means that no matter what happens between now and October, the Celtics and Nets have locked in the best offseason. They are the only two teams who have retired the No. 3 -- for Dennis Johnson and Drazen Petrovic, respectively. So there is no possible way they can ever trade for Stephon Marbury.

Well played, Celtics and Nets. Well played.

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