NBA Roundtable

Celtics Close To Adding Michael Finley

In Free Agency on March 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm

CSNNE reports

Michael Finley is not a Boston Celtic – not yet, anyway.

However, a league source told CSNNE.com that both sides are working towards a deal that could be finalized as early as today. Another source indicated that the Los Angeles Lakers, rumored to be the C’s chief rival in acquiring the two-time all-star, are no longer in the picture.

Update: Boston Herald reporting that an agreement is now in place.

Michael Finley will be a good signing so long as Doc Rivers does not ask too much of him.

Celtics Wing Rotation

  • Starting Shooting Guard — Ray Allen
  • Starting Small Forward — Paul Pierce
  • Primary Backup Wing — Marquis Daniels
  • Secondary Backup Wing — Tony Allen
  • Fifth Wing In Depth Chart — Michael Finley

Michael Finley is not a rotation regular caliber player anymore. He is a situational substitute.

On the Celtics, he’ll be the only reserve wing capable of hitting a jump shot at a respectable level. That means that he’ll be called upon whenever they need superior spacing or in end of the quarter/shot clock type situations. Also in the case of injuries, foul trouble or poor performances by the players ahead of him.

While Finley does add a much improved jump shot, his all-round game simply does not compare to Marquis Daniels or either of the two starters. Any time he is played ahead of one of those players without it being absolutely necessary is more likely than not to hurt the Celtics.

Tony Allen also has a superior all-round game to Finley but he possesses a skill set more akin to Marquis Daniels. So if the C’s need a different sort of weapon (jump shooter), Finley should get the nod. If the C’s are content with a somewhat similar type of player, then they should use Tony Allen. Namely, TA will get the nod whenever they need more defense or athleticism across the perimeter positions.

The one concern, the only concern really, in this move is Doc Rivers. Doc favours veterans. He favours shooters. There is a risk of Doc over-using Michael Finley.

Update: Doc Rivers on the signing — link.

“We don’t know yet,” Doc Rivers said during yesterday morning’s shootaround. “But he was available, he’s a guy of high character, and he can shoot.

“But to be honest we don’t know yet if he fits in or not,” said the Celtics coach. “But adding a veteran can’t hurt.”

“I think he has basketball left in him,” said Rivers. “Mike can still play, but we don’t know if he will be in the rotation or not. But having a guy of high character in your locker room can never hurt.”

“It has yet to be seen,” he said of whether Finley is needed. “The ultimate goal is to win a championship. If he helps us to be a better team, then I’m all for it.

“He’s a veteran, a guy who can definitely spread the floor, and he has a lot of good experience,” said Pierce.

Conclusions

Michael Finley is a good signing for the Celtics. He’ll provide solid depth on the wings and provide a complementary skill-set that was needed. If used correctly, he’ll have a positive impact on the club.

If Doc Rivers over-uses him and asks Finley to fill too large of a role, then Boston will regret the signing.

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