The Celtics should have gone for youth instead of signing Sheed
In an offseason that has already seen the NBA’s elite upgrade their rosters for a shot at the championship next season, one more big name has jumped ship to contend for a championship. The Lakers have got Artest, the Cavs got Shaq, Orlando got Vince , the Spurs traded for Richard Jefferson and now the Boston Celtics have announced they have signed former All-Star Rasheed Wallace on a two-year contract.
Sheed, whose contract expired on July 1, spent six seasons playing for the Detroit Pistons and won an NBA championship in 2004. He joins a Celtics team packed with All-Stars in Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen that is hoping for a final shot at a championship.
Celtics GM Danny Ainge was on a recruitment mission to capture ‘Sheed, showing up on his doorstep in the Detroit suburbs the night free agency opened. Ainge was joined by KG, Pierce and Allen, who convinced the 35 year old to join the C’s.
The arrival of Sheed does give the Celtics of solid line up, with KG, Pierce, Allen and Rajon Rondo, they can compete in what will be a much-improved and more competitive Eastern Conference next year. The only problem is, the Celtics are OLD. Their best players are all the wrong side of 30. Sheed is 35, Allen and KG are 33 and Pierce is 31. Yes, they are set up for a run next season, but what about when they all retire? It would have been better for the Celtics to land someone younger, who could learn from KG, Pierce and Allen and provide a core for the future with Rondo and Kendrick Perkins. They should have followed the Spurs’ example, as the trade for Richard Jefferson gave them a shot of much-needed youth and allowed them to challenge for an additional few years before Tim Duncan retires.
Sheed himself, is surrounded by question marks. Will we see a motivated Wallace who can contribute to the Celtics’ second championship in 3 years, or will we see a repeat of his performance in the Pistons’ sweeping by the Cavs in the playoffs, where it looked like Sheed had nothing in the tank and only average 6 points throughout the series. Personally, I won’t be expecting much out of Wallace apart from hanging around the arc shooting the odd 3. Another shooter will help them, but the Celtics need a scorer, someone to create their own shot and give Pierce a rest.
Yes, the addition of Sheed is a good one for now, but not for the future. If KG can return to full fitness and their key players stay healthy, the C’s have a chance at securing their 18th NBA title. But where their competitors are getting younger and more athletic, e.g. the Cavs, the Magic and the Lakers, the Celtics’ bunch of veterans may struggle to keep up with them. But I think its either boom or bust for this team: either they fail and cannot compete with the likes of the Lakers or the Cavs and their band of All-Stars go their seperate ways and it’s time to rebuild: or KG’s promise of back-to-back championships come true: just look at the San Antonio Spurs – everyone always writes them off – but 4 championships in 10 years speaks for itself… and the Celtics’ will be looking to put last seasons dissapointment behind them and prove their doubters wrong.