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C’s should investigate sign-and-trade options for ’Big Baby’ Davis

by Brandon Simes
Managing Editor
Thursday Jul 16, 2009
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Apparently, according to various reports, the arrival of Rasheed Wallace in Boston won’t necessarily preclude the Celtics from re-signing Glen "Big Baby" Davis. This is a good thing. But it doesn’t also mean that the C’s should bring Big Baby back, because Wallace lessens Davis’s value to the team. Instead, the Celtics should explore sign-and-trade options before either allowing Baby to walk or bringing him back into the fold. Here’s one to ponder: a package centered around the expiring contract of Brian Scalabrine and Big Baby for the Mavs’ Josh Howard.

At first glance it doesn’t seem like an equal swap, and that’s because it’s not. Howard, who makes just under $11 million, is the best player in the proposed deal, but his contract is up after next season and given Dallas’s recent acquisition of Shawn Marion, Howard’s spot may not be as vital to the Mavs’ chances next year as it once was. Should the Mavs truly want another big man now that Orlando decided to match Dallas’s offer to Marcin Gortat AND sign Brandon Bass away from the Western Conference (wannabe) contender, Dallas may feel the need to make a splash, even if it costs a talent like Howard. Davis could be had for a number of years, and an expiring deal (like Scalabrine’s and/or perhaps Tony Allen’s) always has value. If the Mavs don’t want the cap relief they can merely swap an expiring deal for another piece during the season.

Essentially, if the Mavs really want Davis, it might cost them Howard. If the Dallas brass decides it’s worth it to them, the C’s should pounce. It might take adding a first-round pick, it might take Bill Walker, it might just be flat-out impossible, but if the C’s can convince Dallas to make a deal focused on sending Howard to Boston for a package centered around a sign-and-trade with Big Baby, title number 18 would look a lot more likely this year. Howard would ease the strain on Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and give the Green a fearsome eight-man rotation featuring the returning starting five of Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Pierce, Allen, and Rajon Rondo, and a devastating combo of Wallace, Howard, and Eddie House off the bench. Since Howard’s contract runs out at the end of the year, Boston could choose between him and Allen as a target to bring back, or simply let both walk in order to avoid messing up this possible plan.

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