Sounds like the Celtics are at least interested in exploring the Marcus Camby angle, so I thought it would be good to explore the possibility of having him in the mix. The prevailing notion would be to put Camby in the post, freeing Kevin Garnett to return to the familiar role of power forward. On some levels I like that, and I like it a lot. It wasn’t too long ago that Camby was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year (2006-07). He’s led the league in blocks 4 times, he’s a two-time All-Defensive First Team selection (and 2x Second Team honoree), and he’s still an solid rebounder who could help the Celtics immediately.
He’s also 38 years old, so that’s the first negative to put out there on the table. That might not be an issue, given that Camby is in great shape, has had a relatively injury-free career and can still get up and down the court. But assuming we re-sign Ray Allen, we’ve just added more age on top of an aging Big Three. He’s also average at best offensively, although that shouldn’t be an issue with this team. What may be an issue, however, is his free throw shooting; Camby is horrible from the line, shooting 67% for his career and an atrocious 45% last season (to put that into the proper perspective, Camby shot 44% from the field during the 2011-12 campaign.
And then there are the other factors – the Houston Rockets have made a number of big moves in the draft, and are hotly pursuing free agent center Omer Asik. Camby has expressed an interest in remaining a Rocket, and would like a (gulp) 3-year deal to stay in Houston. The Dallas Mavericks have a boatload of money to spend and are also wooing Camby. In true free agent fashion, Camby has expressed mutual admiration for Mark Cuban and his basketball organization. And then there’s the Miami Heat. Pat Riley would love to have Camby join his machine in South Beach, and you can bet that Camby will listen hard to what Riles has to say.
I was initially against the idea of a Camby deal – you would have to carbon date the frontline of Camby, Garnett and Paul Pierce in order to determine their collective age. But with Jeff Green close to signing (you would think he’ll take minutes from Pierce, especially during the regular season), and with a couple of young guys like Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo joining the frontline, a player like Camby would be well worth exploring.
We’ll see how it all plays out – Greg Stiemsma is the current X-factor at the moment, and Ainge will surely look hard at the possible returns of players like Chris Wilcox and Nenad Krstic. It all adds up to a lot of juicy speculation, and that’s what free agency is all about, no?