Re: Trading Bradley or Sullinger is dam foolish!
posted at 1/8/2013 3:00 AM EST
sullinger and AB are two bright spots on a team that up until the last few games hasn't had many. it's strange point in the season because the celts appear to have just figured out that they have to play hard and scrappy every night to win and it feels like AB's presence has had an overall effect on the defensive end of the floor. how can you not be inspired by this guys defesnive effort and energy? with that said, the celtics have zero percent chance to beat the heat as currently composed. so while you hate to break up a team that seems to be just starting to get its act together you also have to bring in a big man.
demarcus "boogie" cousins is a huge talent, but also a colossal head case. might risk losing sullinger, but would hold out on giving up AB, who might never be a "superstar", but posesses the kind of intangibles that could make him a special player. obviously teams don't necessarily want what we'd be willing to give up (green; bass; terry; lee) so there's the rub, but...
there's no denying the immense talent and the 6 "11" 270 body, just a big gamble on a guy with big issues. true, his problems have mostly focused on fights, anger, surliness, arguing with coaches, stonewalling reporters, etc. it's not as if he's been in major trouble with the law. but in the past he has fought with teammates, reporters, demanded to be traded multiple times, and battled with every coach he's ever had. this goes all the way back to high school so this is nothing new. this year alone he was involved in a sexting incident in which he allegedly send a nude photo of himself to a woman; and has been suspended three times this season alone (hitting oj mayo; threatening announcer sean elliott; and unleashing a profanity laced tirade on his coach keith smart). not great stuff.
in terms of ability, he has lot of raw talent, but loves to shoot and is not an effective perimeter shooter. He's shoots .438% from the floor, and that's simply not good enough for a low post player. he's also a foul machine and cannot stay on the court to play more than 30 minutes a night. he's third in the nba in total fouls and tied for 2nd in fouls per 48. he is 4th in turnovers for centers. his fitness level and weight has been questioned; as has his ability to stay engaged night in and night out. he is not a shot blocker either and is only averaging .59 blocks, good for 47th in the league for centers.
on the plus side cousins is locked in for next year and is then a RFA in 2014 at very reasonable money. he's averaged 16 and 10 for his career. he does take charges and is active defensively (1.3 steals per game for his career; 2nd for centers behind only varejao at 1.45 this year) and can pass the ball a little (2.7 assists). shoots 70.0 from the ft line (up to 78% this year).
while there's no denying the need for a big I think cousins is a mistake, especially if it costs AB and sullinger. I would think long and hard about moving either, but if the deal was, say, sulllinger; Lee or terry; bass or green; melo; and a pick you'd have to consider it. you'd then be left with garnett; pierce; cousins; AB; rondo; lee (or terry); Green (or bass); wilcox; barbosa; and anything else you'd get back from sac (evans/garcia/salmons or whomever). that might be enough to get to miami in the eastern finals and then who knows. at least there's shot. personally, I'd if it's possible to bring in someone with melo, next years pick (lottery protected), and 2 of the group consisting of lee; terry; bass; green) I'd take that option.
cousins is just too big a chance to take when giving up two of the best three young players on your team. you just have to ask the question, is this the guy you want to rest your whole franchise on going forward? there's a good reason the kings are willing to part with him. he's a headache and isn't worth the problems he causes. plus they know he's walking away. someone's going to give this kid a max contract or close to it so that's what you have to be willing to commit to him and even then there's no guarantee he's going to want to be in boston. also don't think he and rondo are a good combo together. two guys who seem angry half the time and have issues with refs and other players could feed into one another and become a two headed monster.
tough call because though they have limitatons AB and Sullinger are the exact type of players you want to build with. then again without big time players/scorers etc you can't win and all the glue guys in the world do you no good. here's hoping the deal falls apart because they won't give up bradley and the celts fins another, cheaper option for this year.