NBA Roundtable

Leon Powe Done In Boston?

In Free Agency, General NBA on July 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Leon Powe

Good article in the Boston Herald

The Celtics, already strapped for roster space as they delve into the free agent market, have decided to part ways with Leon Powe.

That, at least, is the impression left with the 25-year-old forward following a conversation with President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge yesterday.

Powe, who is recovering from his third knee surgery, did not receive a qualifying offer from the Celtics by the Monday night deadline. As a result, Powe became an unrestricted free agent.

Powe continued

“Of course I was disappointed, because I want to come back,” Powe said today. “I love the fans. It was just a wonderful place to play.”

Powe walked away from his conversation believing that his time as a Celtic was finished.

“I wasn’t feeling a vibe like that,” he said of whether he got the sense the Celtics might be interested in re-signing him later in the summer. “I knew they wouldn’t (offer a qualifying offer), so I just have to move on.

“That’s what they told me,” Powe said of whether his connection with the Celtics was finished. They told me, ‘Good luck with another team.’ Doc (Rivers) told me that he wanted me there, and he would do whatever he could to make sure I came back, but Danny came to me yesterday saying that they only have a two-year window, and I would be taking up a roster spot for someone else.”

Danny Ainge made a comment

Reached today, Ainge said he would still be interested in signing Powe, though only after he recovers from knee surgery.

“We love Leon, and would consider having Leon back at any time, once he gets healthy,” Ainge said

At least there is some good news

Five teams reportedly called with interest in the power forward after midnight, including Miami, Memphis and Orlando.

This Is Lousy

This is a lousy way to treat one of your players. A guy who has broken his back for the club while earning a low contract. The type of character, the work ethic and the determination, the type of guy you want your basketball team to be about.

And then you treat him like this when he was injured? That’s lousy.

The Qualifying Offer

I have no real problem with the Celtics not making the qualifying offer. They can save somewhere close to $500k by not making the offer, and then signing him to a veteran’s minimum contract later. That part, I’m fine with.

But Danny Ainge’s lack of interest in signing Powe until he’s healthy? That bothers me. There’s a lack of loyalty there.

Basketball Decision

It’s also a very poor basketball decision. The Celtics will be hard pressed to find a big man with half of Leon Powe’s talent on a minimum contract.

They could have used this opportunity wisely, and offered Powe a fully guaranteed year for this coming season and a team option on a second season. If Powe recovers, you get a second year at a low price, and that is something which would have helped the Celtics hugely in 2010/11.

Powe is expected to return around the All-Star break. Now, clearly, expecting him to return and to take his normal role straight away is a very bad risk for a contender like the Celtics. However, giving Powe the role of being the 6th big in the rotation, while being on a minimum contract, is not a risk at all.

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  1. Some good quotes from Leon Powe in the Contra Costa Times

    “First he said it was money issues … then he said I’m going to take up a roster spot and that he’s not and the owner’s not willing to wait,” Powe said. “He said they’ve got a two-year window to win the championship and they wanted someone who could play right away.”

    “They gave me a lot of reasons why. It’s not like I’m asking for $30 million a year. That would be hard,” Powe said. “Just give me something for one year, just to show y’all that I’m going to work hard and when I come back I’m going to be right.”

    “I thought, ‘I’ve been with the team, they know me, they know I’m a hard worker. I’ve done everything I’ve been asked. I was playing hurt when I did it,'”‰” he said, referring to the anterior cruciate ligament injury.

    “I thought, ‘I’ve been with the team, they know me, they know I’m a hard worker. I’ve done everything I’ve been asked. I was playing hurt when I did it,'”‰” he said, referring to the anterior cruciate ligament injury.

    The injury he’s talking about happened in the Bull series, when he kept playing after hearing his knee pop. This guy played in an NBA game with an ACL injury, yes that’s right, he played on after injuring his ACL! That’s how much this guy cares about his team and cares about winning.

    At least Powe has received interest from other teams

    Powe said his agent, Aaron Goodwin, already had heard from three interested teams — Miami, Orlando and Memphis — by Wednesday afternoon. Powe has moved his family to Los Angeles to be closer to the woman in charge of his rehab program.

    “I got a lot of motivation right now,” he said. “I love the work, it’s just a challenge for me. I’ve been down this road. It’s nothing new.

    I am very disappointed in Boston’s actions. Hopefully, things work out okay for Leon Powe.

  2. Dave,

    Leon is one of my favourite players in the game today.

    I respect the way the man goes about living his life.

    At any time, he can play for my team.

  3. I will definitely root for Leon anywhere he goes and hopefully they give him some legit P/T too b/c he’s like a bear in the china cabinet in the post, nothings safe.

    PS… This is why players think of themselves first over an organization winning (see: Boozer and many NFL players) b/c the Organization all of a sudden doesn’t need you when you blow an acl “for the team”… reminds me of the statement, “take one for the Gipper”… Id ask back, will the Gipper take one for me and my family? From the looks of things, probably not.

    PSS… Portalnd has a backup PF position open for the taking…
    Id love to see him with another Org like that w/tradition and where the fans are loyal.

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