Ten days from today, the Celtics training camp will open. The young guys and the new guys have been in town for awhile now, some all summer, working on their game and their chemistry. The veterans will be coming in this week in preparation for camp. Things are heating up and it's going to be an exciting season for Celtics fans.
The Celtics have the deepest bench they have had since 2008 when they won the championship. I'd even say that this bench may even be better than that one. They are younger and more athletic and the team is a great mix of wily veterans and eager youth. As with every season, the key will be health. It doesn't matter how deep a team is if half of them are on the bench in suits. But, the odds are in favor of the Celtics staying healthy this season. They were bit by the injury bug so badly the last two seasons that karma owes them a healthy one. I mean, among other things, after having 2 players undergo heart surgery in the same year (what are the odds???) they deserve some luck this season.
Speaking of last season, let's catch up with a couple of players from that team that won't be back with the Celtics. Marquis Daniels was a good Celtic for 2 seasons, always being ready and never complaining about playing time. And, he and Keyon brought us "Flexing" which counts for something. He's still looking to catch on with a team. The latest rumors have him in Milwaukee working out with the Bucks. Speaking of injuries, I'm really happy that Quisy was able to come back from that horrendous accident two seasons ago. Like I said, after all they have gone through the past two seasons, we are due for a healthy season.
I was hoping that Mickael Pietrus would return to the Celtics. He really seemed to like being a Celtic and he was always good for a smile in the post game interviews. But, apparently he likes money more than being a Celtic so he has been holding out for a contract above the vet minimum, which is all the Celtics could offer him. Back to that injury theme. Pietrus had that horrific fall in Philly and missed time for the resulting concussion. Then it has come out that he played through terrible pain in the playoffs. We didn't really have a healthy Pietrus. He says he's healthy now and reportedly has 3 NBA teams interested as well as an offer from overseas. I hope he gets a good offer and I wish him luck. He was a fan favorite in Boston and will be a fan favorite wherever he lands. It's just in his character.
Sean Williams, who was traded to the Rockets in the Courtney Lee deal, and then cut by the Rockets is hoping to join Greg Stiemsma on the Wolves. The Wolves need another big man at a bargain price and Williams is certain to sign for the vet minimum. He showed some flashes in his time with the Celtics and hopefully he can catch on with the Wolves and get a chance to play. And speaking of that trade, I was very happy to see E'Twaun Moore land with Orlando. He's got a great chance to get playing time there and I think he's going to have a break out season.
Now, let's go into the way back machine. I loved Ricky Davis when he was a Celtic. He always looked like he was having fun out there on the court and he always played hard. I know that he had his critics and there was always that time he missed a shot on purpose to try for a triple double. But he was great in the community and did a lot to give back. In spite of his reputation, he is one of the good guys in the league. I loved Ricky D and have tried to keep tabs on him. He played a bit for the Red Claws last year and was waived in January after averaging 8.5 points per game. He has been working out with the Suns, but word is that they aren't interested in signing the 33 year old guard. Maybe he'll surface in the D-League again this season.
Finally, former Celtics were well represented at the University of Kentucky alumni game that was held this past weekend for charity. The game was a big success and, along with an auction, raised $350,000 for various charities. Rajon Rondo, the Celtics most prominent U of K alumnus was not in attendance, but that doesn't surprise me since he never really fit into the system there. But former Celtics Tony Delk, Antoine Walker, and Walter McCarty (I love Waltah!) were in attendance. No word on whether Antoine broke out the wiggle, however.
I think this bench will be much better than the one in 2008. I think the only player I was really sad to lose was Stiemsma. I like Pietrus but his knee problems really made his stay in Boston pretty ineffective. If fully recovered he would have been (this year) an upgrade over Joseph and Christmas, but I don't think he would have gotten much playing time and the Celtics are better off developing the youth.