NBA Roundtable

Boston: Personnel Changes (Ideas)

In Free Agency, General NBA, Trade Talk on April 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Main Idea

Switching Kevin Garnett to the center position and bringing in a new power forward to play alongside Garnett.

Someone with quickness and defensive ability who will allow Boston to improve elements of their team defense (pick and roll defense, transition defense, closing out on shooters, switching onto smaller players) + their rebounding + give Rondo another finisher on the fastbreak allowing Boston to increase the tempo.

In order to make this effective, Boston would also need to move Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace out of the picture.

Everything from here on in is based around that line of thought.

Some Power Forward Suggestions Mainly Based On Availability

Trading Kendrick Perkins or some other non-Rondo trade assets

  • Boris Diaw
  • Brandon Bass
  • Brandon Wright
  • Mbah a Moute
  • Serge Ibaka
  • Ryan Anderson
  • Nick Collison
  • Jason Thompson

Free Agency Power Forwards

  • Tyrus Thomas
  • Luis Scola
  • Louis Amundson
  • Amir Johnson
  • Udonis Haslem
  • Marcus Camby
  • Craig Smith
  • Channing Frye
  • Al Harrington

Types of power forwards

  1. Combo PF/C — someone who is able to matchup defensively against both positions at an above average level + supply above average rebounding + good finishing around the rim offensively
  2. Ultra-athletic PF — someone who has exceptional athleticism and likely solid all-round skills on the ball (passing, dribble, shooting, finishing)
  3. Combo Forward — a player who is comfortable playing at either the small forward or power forward and likely has above average skills for a power forward on the ball (passing, dribble, shooting)
  4. A Perimeter Orientated PF — someone who specializes in periemeter shooting and may have good ball-handling/slashing/passing skills too.
  5. Prototypical PF — solid all round game and athleticism. Rebounds and plays adequate defense/offense.

Prioritizing skills for a power forward alongside Garnett to have

  • Above average defensive ability. In particular, quick footed team defense and to a lesser degree adequate post defense.
  • Above average rebounding — Boston’s rebounding is very weak and they need all the help they can get on the backboards. They need this new power forward to be a solid-to-excellent rebounder.

Other than that, I think the field is fairly open. A lot of different types of skill-sets will work well alongside Garnett and the rest of the team. Overall talent and expense of assets (draft pick/free agency/trade) will be the deciding factors.

Top Targets

Trade — Serge Ibaka + Brandon Bass — low availability (Mbah a Moute) and possible high cost of others on list stops them (Thompson) from being nominated here.

Free Agency — Tyrus Thomas + Luis Scola + Louis Amundson + Amir Johnson in that order.

Any Thoughts/Conclusions

#1 — The options in free agency are a lot more effective and easier to acquire than the the trade targets. Boston should pursue their new starting power forward via free agency.

#2 — Ergo, Boston should use Perkins as a trade asset to try an upgrade another position. Either a backup big men (replace Sheed) or a new wing (replace Ray as the starting two guard).

If there are no suitable trade opportunities available, then Perk should be kept and used as the main backup big man off the bench. As part of a three player big man rotation.

Perk For A Wing — Dart Board

Trading Perkins for a wing player

  • Marvin Williams
  • Trevor Ariza
  • JR Smith
  • Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton
  • Brandon Rush & other assets
  • Corey Brewer
  • Wilson Chandler
  • James Harden or Thabo Sefolosha
  • Omri Casspi

Okay, the availability and likelihood of those teams being willing to trade them for a package based around Kendrick Perkins varies widely and in some cases we’re dealing with complete unknowns.

Prioritizing certain skills

  • Shooting ability — Needs to be at least a solid level due to Rondo’s lack of shooting ability and the likelihood that the new power forward will have a limited jump shot.
  • Quickness + overall athleticism — Needs to be able to run in transition and be an effective finisher on the break
  • Defense — try to avoid below average defenders. A solid defender is the minimum requirement.
  • Rebounding — Celtics rebounding on the perimeter is poor and they need the new player to be above average for a two guard rebounding wise.

With Rondo, Pierce and Garnett it isn’t important for the new off guard to spend much time on the basketball. So ball-handling, passing ability, and shot creation are no priorities. Also, with Pierce’s strong man-to-man defense it is not a priority that the new player be a stopper.


Using the MLE to sign a new starting power forward and shifting Kevin Garnett to the center position. Then using Kendrick Perkins as a trade asset to bring in a new starting two guard.

New Starting Lineup Examples

(1) Rondo + Ariza + Pierce + Ty Thomas + Garnett

(2) Rondo + Harden + Pierce + Amundson + Garnett

(3) Rondo + JR Smith + Pierce + Amir Johnson + Garnett

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