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.
“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.
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.