Kemba 2021: The Jour-knee Begins

benhogan

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The idea was always to bridge the gap for the next few years with top veteran talent until the Jays were ready so they could compete now and then compete later. Kemba was easily the best available realistic fit, last year it kind of worked out, this year it's tbd, by the time he's a free agent Brown will be 26 and Tatum 24, that's the time when you would hope they can actually compete for a title with 2 star wings just reaching their prime. By then Kemba will be gone and hopefully replaced by a younger all star.
You bridge for a season or 1.5 seasons. You don't "bridge" with a max contract for 4 seasons.

No, it didn't work out last year. Kemba kinda worked out for 4 months. And once he was gone JayCrew started really blossoming in the 2nd half. So no the old, small, plenty of miles, ball-dominant vet that was bad defensively wasn't the best option at the time or in retrospect.

Kemba pumpkin'd after the All-Star game (actually he missed a stretch of games before). The much better option would have been Malcolm Brogdon. A younger, cheaper, bigger, more defensively sound PG who can be an efficient secondary offensive option, that the Bucks tossed aside for Eric Bledsoe.

I really wanted Danny to move Kemba this Summer and retain Gordon, who wasn't sticking around to be the 4th offensive option (& sometimes 5th depending on Smart's mood). But I doubt there were any Kemba takers, so no Year 1 Kemba didn't work out. The Kemba acquisition cost is getting complicated IMO. Sounds like you want to ride this out, which the C's may be forced to. If Kemba can't get his quickness/explosiveness back we're screwed using a max on him for the next 3 seasons.

ALSO if Kemba is TBD and we get a month of Charlotte Kemba do you want him around or should Danny move him?
I'd want Danny to move him quickly, even if they lose most of the salary slot, but I highly doubt that's even possible.
 

BigSoxFan

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You bridge for a season or 1.5 seasons. You don't "bridge" with a max contract for 4 seasons.

No, it didn't work out last year. Kemba kinda worked out for 4 months. And once he was gone JayCrew started really blossoming in the 2nd half. So no the old, small, plenty of miles, ball-dominant vet that was bad defensively wasn't the best option at the time or in retrospect.

Kemba pumpkin'd after the All-Star game (actually he missed a stretch of games before). The much better option would have been Malcolm Brogdon. A younger, cheaper, bigger, more defensively sound PG who can be an efficient secondary offensive option, that the Bucks tossed aside for Eric Bledsoe.

I really wanted Danny to move Kemba this Summer and retain Gordon, who wasn't sticking around to be the 4th offensive option (& sometimes 5th depending on Smart's mood). But I doubt there were any Kemba takers, so no Year 1 Kemba didn't work out. The Kemba acquisition cost is getting complicated IMO. Sounds like you want to ride this out, which the C's may be forced to. If Kemba can't get his quickness/explosiveness back we're screwed using a max on him for the next 3 seasons.

ALSO if Kemba is TBD and we get a month of Charlotte Kemba do you want him around or should Danny move him?
I'd want Danny to move him quickly, even if they lose most of the salary slot, but I highly doubt that's even possible.
I would hope that Danny would pounce on any deal to ship Kemba out that doesn't involve sending a ton of assets the other way. Unfortunately, that deal is pretty much the great white whale. So we're likely stuck with him for the duration of the contract. At this point, we just need to figure out a way to maximize his impact. Many here have suggested he move to the bench in a super sub role and I tend to agree. Let him fire away from the bench where he'd be taking fewer shots away from the Jay's. His defense is atrocious so sticking anyone else in the starting lineup is likely to improve the unit on that front. Personally, assuming PP comes back ok, I would like to flip those 2. Let PP play off the Jay's and let Kemba run the 2nd unit where his ball dominant style might actually have some value. Clearly, that won't happen due to egos but it probably does need to happen at some point.

I really would like to see a PP/Smart/Jaylen/Jayson/TL starting lineup at some point but that doesn't appear to be in the cards. At a minimum, I would like to see this unit get some run during the regular season.
 

HomeRunBaker

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A rival to Milwaukee was able to make a deal. I doubt Danny assumed that Brogdon going back to Milwaukee was a done deal.

At the time it felt like the Kemba signing was a knee-jerk reaction by Danny w/ Kyrie walking away. I was shocked Danny did it and felt like Brogdon was the obvious move. It made little sense at the time and makes less
What if Ainge felt Brogdon was the obvious move but simply wasn’t able to land him due to Pritchard doing a better job in orchestrating a sign-and-trade with Brogdon’s agent and the Bucks?
 

benhogan

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What if Ainge felt Brogdon was the obvious move but simply wasn’t able to land him due to Pritchard doing a better job in orchestrating a sign-and-trade with Brogdon’s agent and the Bucks?
No shit Pritchard did a better job going after Brogdon. Danny had the assets.

and the answer to getting Pritch slapped was a Kemba overpay on day 1 with plenty of future risk? MJ and the Knicks weren't bidding the C's price and both of them were pretty motivated by the image of Kemba in their uniform.

I cant believe we are even justifying one of the worst contracts in the NBA one year into it. AND the defense is another GM did a better job. Thats obvious.
 
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PedroKsBambino

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I don't see any reason to call the Kemba signing knee-jerk. What is the reason we'd say so? I think it was purposeful and it made sense when it happened, but as various of us have noted it also has not worked out.

There were certainly some who preferred Brogdon and that has been proven correct. As HRB notes, that does not mean it was an option.

Kemba was, at the time this happened, universally thought of as a superior player to Brogdon. It also is fair to say that there were a lot more risks to him and those have certainly come to bear greatly on his value.
 

lexrageorge

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Brogdon missed a lot of time in the 2 seasons prior to his RFA year, and averaged less than 4 three-pointer attempts per game. There wasn't a lot there that screamed budding superstar; he was 24 when he started in the league. And the complexities of making an offer to an RFA are not something that should be dismissed at a time when the Celtics were losing Rozier, Horford and Kyrie. There's a lot of 20/20 hindsight going on; I don't believe Brogdon's sudden health and Kemba's knee were at all predictable, and that is the hill I'd be willing to die on here.

EDIT: I don't think it will be that difficult for Ainge to deal with the Kemba contract; I don't see it as crippling. It will not get solved this season, but this season was nothing but a bridge year anyway, as there is no way that the Celtics even with Brogdon instead of Kemba would have any chance to compete with either the Lakers or the Nets in a playoff series barring an unforseen injury.
 

DannyDarwinism

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No shit Pritchard did a better job going after Brogdon

Kemba was an overpay on day 1 and a very risky one at that.

I cant believe we are even justifying one of the worst contracts in the NBA one year into it. AND the defense is another GM did a better job.
To be fair, it’s only one of the worst contracts because of the injury. A healthy Kemba- the guy we saw for the first 50 or so games in green- would be a very helpful player for this team over the next two years. Its hard for me to kill Ainge for Kemba without knowing how foreseeable the knee degeneration was at the time. Now, giving away a draft pick instead of taking Desmond Bane and his league-leading 3pt% (yeah yeah, sss) or Xavier Tillman (and then using the MLE on a wing instead of Tristan Thompson), I think those are more reasonable to question.
 

HomeRunBaker

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No shit Pritchard did a better job going after Brogdon. Danny had the assets.

and the answer to getting Pritch slapped was a Kemba overpay on day 1 with plenty of future risk? MJ and the Knicks weren't bidding the C's price and both of them were pretty motivated by the image of Kemba in their uniform.

I cant believe we are even justifying one of the worst contracts in the NBA one year into it. AND the defense is another GM did a better job. Thats obvious.
I was meh on the Kemba signing based on the age/wear & tear that accompanies the “Isaiah-risk” of the timing of this contract but yeah, when you lose your top choice (if Malcolm was the top choice) you need to fill the gaping hole and we had the space to do it. Of course I didn’t expect Kemba to go Isaiah in Year 1......I was hoping we could get two good years out of him. Hindsight never fails.

So yeah, signing Kemba at that time was the far superior option than sitting on our hands with cap space with Tatum and Jaylen yet to decide their futures.
 

benhogan

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Brogdon missed a lot of time in the 2 seasons prior to his RFA year, and averaged less than 4 three-pointer attempts per game. There wasn't a lot there that screamed budding superstar; he was 24 when he started in the league. And the complexities of making an offer to an RFA are not something that should be dismissed at a time when the Celtics were losing Rozier, Horford and Kyrie. There's a lot of 20/20 hindsight going on; I don't believe Brogdon's sudden health and Kemba's knee were at all predictable, and that is the hill I'd be willing to die on here.

EDIT: I don't think it will be that difficult for Ainge to deal with the Kemba contract; I don't see it as crippling. It will not get solved this season, but this season was nothing but a bridge year anyway, as there is no way that the Celtics even with Brogdon instead of Kemba would have any chance to compete with either the Lakers or the Nets in a playoff series barring an unforseen injury.
You didn't even need Brogdon to be a budding superstar. But I always liked his defense/shooting/size and thought he had star potential.

I think it's interesting to go back and look at this stuff. BUT there is no 20/20 hindsight going on here. Kemba's defense, age and wear n tear were flagged before the signing.

If anything I see a lot of justification for a bad signing that didn't line up with the JayCrew timeline.

Would Kemba really be in that much of a decline in years 3 and 4 of his contract? I'm just not seeing that.
Here was my reply in June 2019

All the credit to Kemba, the guy balls out, has played big minutes and has only missed 6 games over the last 4 seasons!
BUT I'm skeptical of Kemba fending off Father Time after 8yrs of high/physical usage. Any kind of foot, ankle, knee, hip injury that slows him down renders him useless. His defense is below average now, I bet a 31yr old Kemba will struggle defensively during his 11th and 12th seasons. $35MM/yr will tie up cap space just when the rest of the roster could be hitting its prime.

If the Celtics sign him then I'm probably completely off base.
 

benhogan

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I was meh on the Kemba signing based on the age/wear & tear that accompanies the “Isaiah-risk” of the timing of this contract but yeah, when you lose your top choice (if Malcolm was the top choice) you need to fill the gaping hole and we had the space to do it. Of course I didn’t expect Kemba to go Isaiah in Year 1......I was hoping we could get two good years out of him. Hindsight never fails.

So yeah, signing Kemba at that time was the far superior option than sitting on our hands with cap space with Tatum and Jaylen yet to decide their futures.
Doing bad, long-term contracts is rarely good business and commonly pimped around here to save NBA cap space.

As DannyD notes above we just had to staple a usable first-round pick to a 1yr $5MM contract. I can't imagine the cost of unloading Kemba
 

BaseballJones

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1. Can Kemba provide strong Microwave type scoring off the bench and be an asset to the team?

2. Will the cost to unload him be astronomical?

If the answer to these two questions is yes, then the solution is to use him precisely in this role and not unload him.

Yes he’d be an expensive microwave. Ok. He can still help the team.
 

benhogan

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1. Can Kemba provide strong Microwave type scoring off the bench and be an asset to the team?

2. Will the cost to unload him be astronomical?

If the answer to these two questions is yes, then the solution is to use him precisely in this role and not unload him.

Yes he’d be an expensive microwave. Ok. He can still help the team.
Kimba's upside going forward is probably Lou Williams's 6th man type player.
 

BaseballJones

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Kimba's upside going forward is probably Lou Williams's 6th man type player.
That's a really valuable player. Not max contract valuable, but not much to be done about that now. So use him in that role, let him do work against other teams' second units, let PP get more minutes (once he returns), and that's not a bad way to get the most out of Kemba. It's not ideal, but again, not much to be done about that now.
 

Jimbodandy

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Doing bad, long-term contracts is rarely good business and commonly pimped around here to save NBA cap space.

As DannyD notes above we just had to staple a usable first-round pick to a 1yr $5MM contract. I can't imagine the cost of unloading Kemba
Fwiw, I think that the pick stapling is really cap maneuvering cost more than standard rate for eating 5MM.

Regarding the Jays going supernova (TM nighthob), even the biggest stans did not expect this so soon. If you told me in June 2019 that we realistically would have both of them as top 10 scorers with efficiency in Jan 2021, I would have had to call my doctor after 4 hours. Sure the signs of growth were there (and still are), but this is like off the right side of the bell curve outcomes.

Hopefully Brad has a way to maximize whatever Kemba still has in the tank, because it seems that he's here for good.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Props to those who expressed concern early on about wear-and-tear concerns but it's not like this was the Chris Sale extension - Kemba really had no prior injury history. I guess you can say that given Kemba's size and play style he was more of a risk to develop "IT" style injuries than others, but as HRB says, if you assume the Celtics weren't getting Brogdon, what's the alternative? Just let Kyrie's salary slot go? People on this board would have been (rightly) furious if that happened. The unfortunate reality is that success in the NBA requires a lot of good timing - the way the cap is designed you basically have to replace a max slot with another max slot when you can unless you are tanking/rebuilding (the Hayward TPE this year is an exception but there's a reason those TPEs don't come along too often - for example, that wouldn't have worked with Rozier because Charlotte wouldn't have signed Rozier if Kemba stayed).

Certainly it's a given that he's a massive negative trade asset right now - there is no way they could unload him without stapling multiple picks or other good young players with him, or taking on an equally bad contract.

But some people here are acting like he's done as an NBA player, which is pretty insane. He's played a total of six games this season, and only one of them (the most recent) has been a real stinker. And I get that his on/off numbers aren't great but six games is not a big enough sample to determine much of anything, especially when a player is returning from a long layoff.

I mean, maybe he is totally cooked, but we don't know that yet. The one thing I do hope is that Danny/Brad don't feel pressured to start him/give him extended minutes in the playoffs if he isn't capable of that - if his best role is a limited-minutes bench-scorer, that's what he should be. And if there are entire series where matchups dictate that he really shouldn't be playing much at all, again, so be it.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Brogdon missed a lot of time in the 2 seasons prior to his RFA year, and averaged less than 4 three-pointer attempts per game. There wasn't a lot there that screamed budding superstar; he was 24 when he started in the league. And the complexities of making an offer to an RFA are not something that should be dismissed at a time when the Celtics were losing Rozier, Horford and Kyrie. There's a lot of 20/20 hindsight going on; I don't believe Brogdon's sudden health and Kemba's knee were at all predictable, and that is the hill I'd be willing to die on here.

EDIT: I don't think it will be that difficult for Ainge to deal with the Kemba contract; I don't see it as crippling. It will not get solved this season, but this season was nothing but a bridge year anyway, as there is no way that the Celtics even with Brogdon instead of Kemba would have any chance to compete with either the Lakers or the Nets in a playoff series barring an unforseen injury.
With two stars averaging 27 ppg with high efficiency, I don't think anybody should be OK treating this as a bridge year, especially since they would be mostly locked into this same 'bridge year' roster next season without some bold moves. Of course, it is always easier to swing big deals in the summer, and that's fine, but they shouldn't be closed off to anything now. If Tatum and Brown playing most nights at all-star level isn't enough to be a legit contender with the current pieces around them, then it's not going to be enough next year either even if you assume some young guy improvement. Offloading Kemba means getting a worse player on a shorter contract, so that doesn't really clear space for the team to improve.

The clock is ticking on Smart's high value contract. Resigning him at the end of his current deal means that is basically your core still, unless Kemba's salary has been cleared and they are able to bring in a max FA and retain Smart with his Bird rights (I have no idea if this will be cap compliant). The tricky thing is I have no idea how to value the TPE.

I am just rambling but there is a path to a powerhouse here, I'm just not sure how we get there. Smart+ for a star and max out whatever you can for the TPE? Cut a year off Kemba's deal a la the Raef/Ratliff deal? Hold the TPE for a great player or slice it into 2 good/very good players? The summer '22 plan (max FA/retain Marcus)? Some combo of all of the above?

Ainge has an amazing base to work given the talent and versatility of the Jays—you can stick them in basically any lineup and they will work—but it's not going to be easy to get over the conference finals hump. Many of his colleagues are and will continue to be willing to trade as many 1st round picks as it takes to get deals done. At some point Ainge will have to be ready to go there if needed.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Doing bad, long-term contracts is rarely good business and commonly pimped around here to save NBA cap space.

As DannyD notes above we just had to staple a usable first-round pick to a 1yr $5MM contract. I can't imagine the cost of unloading Kemba
Again.....hindsight on this contract being that awful. Why do you feel it was so simply to acquire Brogdon when his agents were already deeply involved in working with Pritchard and the Bucks?
 

benhogan

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Props to those who expressed concern early on about wear-and-tear concerns but it's not like this was the Chris Sale extension - Kemba really had no prior injury history. I guess you can say that given Kemba's size and play style he was more of a risk to develop "IT" style injuries than others, but as HRB says, if you assume the Celtics weren't getting Brogdon, what's the alternative? Just let Kyrie's salary slot go? People on this board would have been (rightly) furious if that happened. The unfortunate reality is that success in the NBA requires a lot of good timing - the way the cap is designed you basically have to replace a max slot with another max slot when you can unless you are tanking/rebuilding (the Hayward TPE this year is an exception but there's a reason those TPEs don't come along too often - for example, that wouldn't have worked with Rozier because Charlotte wouldn't have signed Rozier if Kemba stayed).

Certainly it's a given that he's a massive negative trade asset right now - there is no way they could unload him without stapling multiple picks or other good young players with him, or taking on an equally bad contract.

But some people here are acting like he's done as an NBA player, which is pretty insane. He's played a total of six games this season, and only one of them (the most recent) has been a real stinker. And I get that his on/off numbers aren't great but six games is not a big enough sample to determine much of anything, especially when a player is returning from a long layoff.

I mean, maybe he is totally cooked, but we don't know that yet. The one thing I do hope is that Danny/Brad don't feel pressured to start him/give him extended minutes in the playoffs if he isn't capable of that - if his best role is a limited-minutes bench-scorer, that's what he should be. And if there are entire series where matchups dictate that he really shouldn't be playing much at all, again, so be it.
They had the assets to get Brogdon. Barring that they could have resigned Rozier or done another dozen moves. Danny knew weeks ahead of time that Kyrie and Al were flight risk or gone. There were other players to be had. No one put a salary cap gun to Danny's head.

Brad can hide Kemba against 2nd units and use him along with the Jays to start games. I'm not going to use stats now since its such a SSS, but to the eye test, his defense has gone from bad to IT4-like.
 

benhogan

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Again.....hindsight on this contract being that awful. Why do you feel it was so simply to acquire Brogdon when his agents were already deeply involved in working with Pritchard and the Bucks?
Again... no hindsight on Kemba contract

All I have is Danny had plenty of late firsts to make it happen. I have no idea if Kevin Pritchard was wining and dining Brogdon's agents or if Milwaukee's GM was jonesing to make a deal with Pritchard.

So you're probably right that Malcolm Brogdon always dreamed of playing for the Pacers. Instead of playing with Tatum and Brown.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I do think it is fair to note, in general and specifically to Brogdon, that Celts had a lot of 1sts that didn't generate a high return.

That said, it is also true that some of the energy for "we should have dealt the picks for a proven player" is from the same voices who have advocated "we shouldn't get a proven player, we should develop the younguns" It just highlights that it is challenging to balance now vs future.
 

benhogan

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I do think it is fair to note, in general and specifically to Brogdon, that Celts had a lot of 1sts that didn't generate a high return.

That said, it is also true that some of the energy for "we should have dealt the picks for a proven player" is from the same voices who have advocated "we shouldn't get a proven player, we should develop the younguns" It just highlights that it is challenging to balance now vs future.
1. A late first and 2nds for Brogdon... worth it.

2. Giving big minutes to Thompson and Teague... not worth it.

3. We should totally develop younguns to create asset value. That way Danny can potentially combine 1or 2 of them with TPE to get players that lineup with JayCrew. '

4. It's not really hard: Everything the Celtics should have done once Kyrie/Horford/MaMo left should have been around JayCrew timeline (not hindsight). Everything going forward should be built around JayCrew timeline

I imagine you agree with all of the above, other than you wanted a wing to replace Gordo in November. Wood was the bargain of the offseason but not going down that rabbit hole. Unfortunately, the Kemba situation probably torpedoes this season. Now I just want Danny to have this team lined up for 2022 playoffs and beyond
 

PedroKsBambino

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Yeah, all I'm saying is it's complicated in execution. When you say "it should all be about the Jays" that doesn't mean no Kemba---part of his value was complimenting their games and creating space for them to grow into being 1/2s. I get you didn't like that move but it's just not right to say it wasn't about the Jays. Or conflicted with developing them---since they in fact developed as well as possible after that move.

You tihnk that is about everyone being on same timeline, but many who follow the league feel that leadership and vets help that happen.
 

benhogan

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Yeah, all I'm saying is it's complicated in execution. When you say "it should all be about the Jays" that doesn't mean no Kemba---part of his value was complimenting their games and creating space for them to grow into being 1/2s. I get you didn't like that move but it's just not right to say it wasn't about the Jays. Or conflicted with developing them---since they in fact developed as well as possible after that move.

You tihnk that is about everyone being on same timeline, but many who follow the league feel that leadership and vets help that happen.
Tatum and Brown are mature beyond their years. They both came into the league with a gameplan on being great. No BS from them, both work their asses off, fully trust them. And frankly, they have been involved in more big games/playoff basketball than Kemba ever had. If anything, we saw vets like Kyrie with his finger pointing at the "kids" and MaMo stealing minutes from Jaylen stunt their growth. Smart is the vet I want leading this group on the floor, with his grittiness and defense-first attitude. Hopefully, we get some locker room edginess from TT and Teague, even with them playing fewer minutes.

Kemba's a nice guy. He would have been a decent complimentary piece to the Jay's but Father Time (IMO) caught up to KW 4 months into his tenure. I hope they move him by the Summer with an eye towards Spring 2022.
 

shoelace

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Probably too meta to post this, but broken Kemba makes the board angry.
I do think the conversation around Kemba is going to be rough moving forward, every bad game will be evidence that he's an albatross, and every good game will just be a mirage that obscures the fact that his knee is a ticking time bomb. I really don't understand, and this happens too frequently, how message board posters can say "Kemba is cooked, he's an albatross" and then think that NBA front offices aren't going to look at his medicals or his performance and come to the same conclusion.

He has a degenerative knee issue, if you think he's going to be mostly unplayable in the near future, or is unplayable now, you would have to attach value to get someone to pay him the $70,000,000+ he's owed after this season. People are talking about "rebuilding value" as if you're going to be able to fool some other team into taking him and that just doesn't seem realistic. If you think the contract is bad, it seems like you're doubling down on the mistake if you give up picks or young players to move off it. Barring some team basically offering you a neutral value salary dump or a large contract that expires a year sooner like Blake Griffin, I can't see them moving Kemba until Summer of 2022 at the earliest.

If anything, we saw vets like Kyrie with his finger pointing at the "kids" and MaMo stealing minutes from Jaylen stunt their growth.
Isn't it possible that Brad pulling Jaylen when he was making mistakes and making him earn minutes is part of why he's good? There is no way to know if feeding Jaylen more minutes earlier in his career would have made him develop faster. Honestly, we have folks complaining about his team defense and bad habits to this day, and I'm sure those things would all be markedly worse if he was just given minutes. I have a hard time feeling like they've stunted any young player's growth during Brad's tenure.
 

OurF'ingCity

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1. A late first and 2nds for Brogdon... worth it.
Couple of things here. First, this assumes that the Bucks would have been willing to take roughly the same package they got from the Pacers from the Celtics. But unless I missed some reporting to the contrary I'm not sure that would be true at all. The Celtics are - and were at the time - an up-and-coming contender and a clear direct rival to the Bucks. The Pacers were fine, but much further away from real contention (the flawed Celtics 2019 team swept the Pacers, after all). I wouldn't be at all surprised if Danny had inquired about Brogdon and the answer from the Bucks was "sorry, you want Brogdon, submit an offer sheet and see what happens." And by the point they could have done that the Pacers sign-and-trade was effectively a done deal.

But even assuming the Celtics could have got Brogdon for a similar package, I don't think it's that crazy that the Celtics arrived at the conclusion that acquiring Kemba - coming off a third-team All-Pro season with no significant injury history - for "just" money was a better risk than acquiring Brogdon for money AND assets. (Let's keep in mind that the pick the Celtics likely would have traded was the pick that ultimately became Pritchard, which should make clear that late firsts still have a lot of value.) Sure the Celtics would probably go a different way if they could travel back in time now, but that's also true of the Hayward signing. You seem to be suggesting that going with Brodgon over Kemba at the time was the obvious correct choice and that's just not true.

Unfortunately, the Kemba situation probably torpedoes this season.
This is a laughably bad overstatement. Even if Kemba never plays another minute for the Celtics this season this team clearly has the pieces to win a championship this year - it's not like they were playing like shit before Kemba came back. Are the favorites? No, clearly not, but they wouldn't be the favorites even if Kemba looked great. Kemba was brought in mostly to be a scorer, and as others have noted that need for volume scoring has been lessened thanks to Tatum and especially Brown's development. So while Kemba's contract is certainly a negative in the sense that it hampers their ability to add pieces going forward, I don't think Kemba's situation actually affects the on-court product as much as it could have - unless Brad decides to force-feed Kemba playoff minutes he doesn't deserve, which I agree would be very bad.
 

benhogan

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This is a laughably bad overstatement. Even if Kemba never plays another minute for the Celtics this season this team clearly has the pieces to win a championship this year - it's not like they were playing like shit before Kemba came back. Are the favorites? No, clearly not, but they wouldn't be the favorites even if Kemba looked great. Kemba was brought in mostly to be a scorer, and as others have noted that need for volume scoring has been lessened thanks to Tatum and especially Brown's development. So while Kemba's contract is certainly a negative in the sense that it hampers their ability to add pieces going forward, I don't think Kemba's situation actually affects the on-court product as much as it could have - unless Brad decides to force-feed Kemba playoff minutes he doesn't deserve, which I agree would be very bad.
Well if this is true it further emphasizes what a bad signing/fit Kemba is. Yea so I agree that was a bad overstatement by me, this team can win without him.

But I sure do love all the goalposts being moved here:
It has gone from sign Brogdon over Kemba at the time (June 2019). Which was my stance and many of you pushed back on then...

To your new stance of:
Danny never had a chance on Brogdon or
Celtics never would have offered assets or
Brogdon never wanted to sign here or
Pritchard had the inside track for weeks or
Bucks never would have dealt with the Celtics because after losing Kyrie/Horford/MaMO they were contenders with Milwaukee

Most of you posting now, posted then (June 2019) and there was ZERO pushback on the Celtic's ability to get Brogdon then.
 

Devizier

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If only Kemba changed his last name to Baynes, this could have all been avoided.

I mean, the NBA cap is no mystery, opportunity trumps value. We can wish on Brogdon, but unless talking about a straight free agent, availability is pure speculation (and even then).
 

benhogan

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If only Kemba changed his last name to Baynes, this could have all been avoided.

I mean, the NBA cap is no mystery, opportunity trumps value. We can wish on Brogdon, but unless talking about a straight free agent, availability is pure speculation (and even then).
but that wasn't the stance then...but it's convenient now
 

nighthob

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No, it didn't work out last year. Kemba kinda worked out for 4 months. And once he was gone JayCrew started really blossoming in the 2nd half. So no the old, small, plenty of miles, ball-dominant vet that was bad defensively wasn't the best option at the time or in retrospect.

Kemba pumpkin'd after the All-Star game (actually he missed a stretch of games before).
And it's a shame, because I really wanted the deal to work out as I'd always loved him. I thought that they'd get 2-3 years of Kemba play out of him, unfortunately it turned out to be half a season. I was definitely on the wrong side of the Walker Brogdon debate.

It's clear that the franchise is still laboring under a Kyurse. I know you're a Mormon, Danny, but for the love of all that's holy please call up a proper priest and get an exorcism to rid the place of the demon Kyzuzu and his Flat Hell.
 

Jimbodandy

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but that wasn't the stance then...but it's convenient now
You deserve to spike the football on Brogdon over Kemba. You were right.

I still think that we're overstating the obviousness that 18 months later, we'd have two efficient alpha scorers. It was clear that Tatum might be headed this way, but nobody had that as a given AND Brown at 27/5/4 on 62% TS.

Fwiw, I think that Danny viewed Kemba as karma purge + shot generator + hedge. If the Jays took off, great, we have a good dude on a max deal who won't demand all of the touches. And if either or both plateau, we have a guy who can take the last shot and facilitate for them.

Maybe he should have foreseen short-guy-wheels-falling-off, but as others have noted Kemba was a house before last year. Guy didn't have a history.
 

nighthob

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What if Ainge felt Brogdon was the obvious move but simply wasn’t able to land him due to Pritchard doing a better job in orchestrating a sign-and-trade with Brogdon’s agent and the Bucks?
An extra $15 million usually gets an agent's attention.
 

lovegtm

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And it's a shame, because I really wanted the deal to work out as I'd always loved him. I thought that they'd get 2-3 years of Kemba play out of him, unfortunately it turned out to be half a season. I was definitely on the wrong side of the Walker Brogdon debate.

It's clear that the franchise is still laboring under a Kyurse. I know you're a Mormon, Danny, but for the love of all that's holy please call up a proper priest and get an exorcism to rid the place of the demon Kyzuzu and his Flat Hell.
Yeah man. The Celtics have had some really, really shitty luck on a lot of fronts since the Hayward signing. Losing Kyrie before the 2018 playoffs, Hayward not being available for the Miami series, Herro going at #13, Walker being healthy for 3 months instead of 2-3 years...

We fucking deserve TL/Pritchard/(1 of Nesmith/Romeo/Grant) to hit hard, because they've been really unlucky not to have a superteam forming around the Jays now. They nailed those two picks as hard as you can, and the rest of the luck has been pretty shitty.
 

benhogan

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Fwiw, I think that Danny viewed Kemba as karma purge + shot generator + hedge. If the Jays took off, great, we have a good dude on a max deal who won't demand all of the touches. And if either or both plateau, we have a guy who can take the last shot and facilitate for them.

Maybe he should have foreseen short-guy-wheels-falling-off, but as others have noted Kemba was a house before last year. Guy didn't have a history.
That's fair, and Kembaya's attitude was a huge selling point for Danny/Brad (at least that's what Danny said at the initial presser). The Kyrie stink bomb needed some Fabreeze.

I was just shocked Danny made the play for Kemba. Just 2yrs earlier Danny completely played the IT4 situation like a Maestro. Not backing up the Brinks Truck, instead, making him the centerpiece in a Kyrie deal. Kemba, like IT, has to be in almost perfect health to create separation at the NBA level. Even at his best, Kemba would get zeroed in on in the playoffs and get run over defensively. Injured/slower Kemba goes from All-Star to short minutes, special matchups, bench microwave quickly.
 
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benhogan

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Yeah man. The Celtics have had some really, really shitty luck on a lot of fronts since the Hayward signing. Losing Kyrie before the 2018 playoffs, Hayward not being available for the Miami series, Herro going at #13, Walker being healthy for 3 months instead of 2-3 years...

We fucking deserve TL/Pritchard/(1 of Nesmith/Romeo/Grant) to hit hard, because they've been really unlucky not to have a superteam forming around the Jays now. They nailed those two picks as hard as you can, and the rest of the luck has been pretty shitty.
Much like Herro, just missing on Vassell and Haliburton may really sting
 

benhogan

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And it's a shame, because I really wanted the deal to work out as I'd always loved him. I thought that they'd get 2-3 years of Kemba play out of him, unfortunately it turned out to be half a season. I was definitely on the wrong side of the Walker Brogdon debate.

It's clear that the franchise is still laboring under a Kyurse. I know you're a Mormon, Danny, but for the love of all that's holy please call up a proper priest and get an exorcism to rid the place of the demon Kyzuzu and his Flat Hell.
The only positive from the Kyrie Era is he dented Jaylen's curve which led to an incredibly favorable deal.
 

scottyno

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On/off numbers are functionally useless except in the middle of the bell curve. Everyone knows that Graham is a really good offensive player and Charlotte scored more efficiently when he was on the floor. What it can’t ever tell you, without you actually watching a fucking game, is what’s going on and why.

We get it, you finally learned how to look up the on/off numbers on BBRef and think that you’ve discovered electricity. Ultimately Graham was a pretty bad defender which is why Charlotte used Rozier to take the tougher assignments. That didn’t mean that Rozier was good, just less bad.

Which is all beside your long abandoned point that if Boston didn’t sign Walker they wouldn’t have been able to sign anyone. You were wrong. Live with it. But we get that you’re going to argue forever as you even attempted to justify your laughable arguments at the time of the Walker signing that neither Tatum nor Brown would be all stars. Reading that post that Ben Hogan quoted tells me everything I need to know. Well almost everything. Your attempts to justify it complete the task.
His quoted post is me saying that after 2019 they had no one that was currently close to a top 5-10 player, it has nothing to do with them becoming all stars eventually. Are you really going to try to argue that? Tatum was a 20 year old who had regressed in his 2nd year. Brown was a 22 year old who had actually regressed quite a bit from the year before and didn't even start most of the year. People were expecting way more from them that year following the run to the ECF in 2018 and it didn't happen. Neither of them looked like a guy about to make the immediate leap into superstardom. Meanwhile Kemba was healthy and coming off an all nba season.

And no, if they passed on Kemba they wouldn't have been able to sign anyone else of comparable talent, unless you wanted to be the one giving an insane amount of money for a mediocre player in Terry Rozier (must just be a coincidence that his team skyrockets when he sits down)
 

benhogan

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His quoted post is me saying that after 2019 they had no one that was currently close to a top 5-10 player, it has nothing to do with them becoming all stars eventually. Are you really going to try to argue that? Tatum was a 20 year old who had regressed in his 2nd year. Brown was a 22 year old who had actually regressed quite a bit from the year before and didn't even start most of the year. People were expecting way more from them that year following the run to the ECF in 2018 and it didn't happen. Neither of them looked like a guy about to make the immediate leap into superstardom. Meanwhile Kemba was healthy and coming off an all nba season.

And no, if they passed on Kemba they wouldn't have been able to sign anyone else of comparable talent, unless you wanted to be the one giving an insane amount of money for a mediocre player in Terry Rozier (must just be a coincidence that his team skyrockets when he sits down)
yea right Kemba was better than Tatum at the beginning of last season. OK.... I guess defense doesn't count.
 

Jimbodandy

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His quoted post is me saying that after 2019 they had no one that was currently close to a top 5-10 player, it has nothing to do with them becoming all stars eventually. Are you really going to try to argue that? Tatum was a 20 year old who had regressed in his 2nd year. Brown was a 22 year old who had actually regressed quite a bit from the year before and didn't even start most of the year. People were expecting way more from them that year following the run to the ECF in 2018 and it didn't happen. Neither of them looked like a guy about to make the immediate leap into superstardom. Meanwhile Kemba was healthy and coming off an all nba season.

And no, if they passed on Kemba they wouldn't have been able to sign anyone else of comparable talent, unless you wanted to be the one giving an insane amount of money for a mediocre player in Terry Rozier (must just be a coincidence that his team skyrockets when he sits down)
At the risk of pigpiling, pretty much everyone credible knew that Tatum was the fucking dude. Much much conversation here around what he did as a rookie in volume and efficiency at his age. He was in Lebron/McGrady/Kobe territory. Any sophomore regression should have been discounted. The question wasn't "is this guy going to multiple AS games". It was "how long before he's a top 10 player".

Brown's ascension wasn't as clear.

Both have exceeded most projections, but Tatum's rise shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Some even predicted Brown's, although the speed at which he achieved this level blows away even known Jaylenphiles.
 

nighthob

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I was meh on the Kemba signing based on the age/wear & tear that accompanies the “Isaiah-risk” of the timing of this contract but yeah, when you lose your top choice (if Malcolm was the top choice) you need to fill the gaping hole and we had the space to do it. Of course I didn’t expect Kemba to go Isaiah in Year 1......I was hoping we could get two good years out of him. Hindsight never fails.

So yeah, signing Kemba at that time was the far superior option than sitting on our hands with cap space with Tatum and Jaylen yet to decide their futures.
They weren't sitting on their hands at all. Walker was the secondary target for the LeBronakers, but LA kept him on hold while Kawhi strung them along. In retrospect it would have been better for Boston if LeBron realized that they didn't need Kawhi and gone straight at Walker. Walker came to Boston (rather than New York, who were begging him to go there) because he wanted to compete for a title and his most direct shot left him swinging in the wind while waiting for Kawhi. Boston had more cap space, and could have offered Brogdon more money.

Again.....hindsight on this contract being that awful. Why do you feel it was so simply to acquire Brogdon when his agents were already deeply involved in working with Pritchard and the Bucks?
What the Bucks wanted was irrelevant, the question was were they willing to pay a ginormous tax bill to pay Brogdon's market rate. But everyone knew they weren't, which is why the Pacers made the offer at a level too rich for the Buck's blood. But Boston could have offered more. The Bucks just wanted something to show for their screwup in not signing Brogdon for four years at the outset. Similar to Pritchard taking back a guy with cancer for Oladipo just so that he has something to show for a player that was leaving anyway (after butchering the Hayward situation).

The clock is ticking on Smart's high value contract. Resigning him at the end of his current deal means that is basically your core still, unless Kemba's salary has been cleared and they are able to bring in a max FA and retain Smart with his Bird rights (I have no idea if this will be cap compliant). The tricky thing is I have no idea how to value the TPE.

I am just rambling but there is a path to a powerhouse here, I'm just not sure how we get there. Smart+ for a star and max out whatever you can for the TPE? Cut a year off Kemba's deal a la the Raef/Ratliff deal? Hold the TPE for a great player or slice it into 2 good/very good players? The summer '22 plan (max FA/retain Marcus)? Some combo of all of the above?
Boston is sort of locked in at this point. They aren't going to get a star for Marcus and skittles. Thanks to that Walker contract what you see is what you're getting. I'm still expecting a Smart extension if financial planning is possible this offseason (covid19 has really fucked up the economic forecasts). If not his next deal is going to look very Brogdonesque. And Boston will need to pay it because there's not really an in house replacement there at the moment.

Their only other option is to identify the next Brogdon and sign them next summer using the TPE to facilitate a sign & trade. The Hail Mary play is to hope that Walker shows enough by year's end that the Knicks will take him next summer after they strike out in free agency again.

Couple of things here. First, this assumes that the Bucks would have been willing to take roughly the same package they got from the Pacers from the Celtics. But unless I missed some reporting to the contrary I'm not sure that would be true at all.
The Bucks had only one choice in that situation, pay Brogdon what he was offered or not. That was it. They didn't get to decide where Brogdon played unless it was for them. And thanks to their payroll situation it wasn't an option without a hefty luxury tax bill (and self-inflicted as I noted, they cheaped out on a fourth year for Brogdon when they signed him). Everything else is ex post facto justification and it's wrong.

I'm not saying this from the Brogdon side of the fence, there were posters here that preferred Boston aggressively pursue him as the perfect sidekick to the Jay-Crew, I was not one of them. I was riding a first class car on the Walker train and got covered in as much humble pie as everyone else when it derailed.

I still think that we're overstating the obviousness that 18 months later, we'd have two efficient alpha scorers. It was clear that Tatum might be headed this way, but nobody had that as a given AND Brown at 27/5/4 on 62% TS.
Yeah, everyone reasonable knew that Tatum was bound for MVP contention despite the bump in the road that we now know was Kyzuzu attempting to burn a competitor's clubhouse to the ground for his team (the Nets, as he reached an agreement with them in December of 2018). Despite the hand-wringing over the growing pains, he was still getting better.

Brown's ceiling was the only thing we were questioning. Ben Hogan and HRB have both long been enthusiastically bullish on Brown's ceiling (I'm pretty sure that HRB has said that he thinks JB will be better than Tatum long term, and that's no longer dismissible). I've been more in the cautiously bullish camp where I thought Brown was definitely an all star, but not necessarily an All-NBA player (top 15). I was wrong. He's All-NBA now.

Fwiw, I think that Danny viewed Kemba as karma purge + shot generator + hedge. If the Jays took off, great, we have a good dude on a max deal who won't demand all of the touches. And if either or both plateau, we have a guy who can take the last shot and facilitate for them.

Maybe he should have foreseen short-guy-wheels-falling-off, but as others have noted Kemba was a house before last year. Guy didn't have a history.
I think this is what everyone thought of the signing at the time. Kemba was known as a fantastic clubhouse guy and all star level closer. And that's why Boston targeted him. That's why I certainly loved the deal, it gave Tatum two years to turn in to that closer. A lot of people have been inventing shit to justify the thing after the fact, but why bother? They signed him to a max deal expecting 2-3 years of him at peak value, but the injury bug hit and now they seem to be stuck with a loadstone of a deal. Just please, Danny, for the love of god call the Archdiocese and get an exorcism.

To be fair, it’s only one of the worst contracts because of the injury. A healthy Kemba- the guy we saw for the first 50 or so games in green- would be a very helpful player for this team over the next two years. Its hard for me to kill Ainge for Kemba without knowing how foreseeable the knee degeneration was at the time. Now, giving away a draft pick instead of taking Desmond Bane and his league-leading 3pt% (yeah yeah, sss) or Xavier Tillman (and then using the MLE on a wing instead of Tristan Thompson), I think those are more reasonable to question.
I understood the reason for creating the Kanter TPE (although apparently we were all wrong about him, because his on/off numbers prove that he was an elite defender and we were all too stupid to recognize it), but I was bummed that they passed on Tillman. I liked Bane, too, but I just couldn't see room for two wings with spotty lateral quickness on the roster. I would have been fine with Saddiq Bey and Bane, though.

Yeah man. The Celtics have had some really, really shitty luck on a lot of fronts since the Hayward signing. Losing Kyrie before the 2018 playoffs ...
It's not since the Hayward signing, it's since Danny sold the Celtics' soul to Beelzebub and allowed the franchise to be possessed by the Demon Kyzuzu. And that last was the only bit of good luck that Boston had since. ;)
 
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Cesar Crespo

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A lot of this is a huge over reaction but the signing was terrible at the time. I think 6'0 players are a lot like traditional centers though. They are easily replaceable and not worth giving max deals.

The most likeliest path to a championship has been the same for awhile imo. It's getting lucky in the draft or having one of their younger players on rookie contracts take a step forward. Then you flip those players for someone who is ready to contribute to a winning team now.
 

nighthob

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And no, if they passed on Kemba they wouldn't have been able to sign anyone else of comparable talent, unless you wanted to be the one giving an insane amount of money for a mediocre player in Terry Rozier (must just be a coincidence that his team skyrockets when he sits down)
You choose bizarre hills to die on. The only reason Rozier got the money he did is that it was the exact amount necessary to facilitate a trade to Charlotte, who had no other way of acquiring him except as part of a two way Walker sign & trade. Absent a Walker signing T-Ro's second contract would have looked a lot like Marcus's.
 

nighthob

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yea right Kemba was better than Tatum at the beginning of last season. OK.... I guess defense doesn't count.
Given his claims regarding Graham he might be from the Doug Moe school of defense. (For you young'uns out there, someone once asked Moe, at the height of Denver's run&gun era, about his team's league worst defense. His reply was "We don't have the league's worst defense, our opponents do". It was sort of the ultimate Doug Moement.)
 
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GeorgeCostanza

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I’m on team hogan and nighthob here. I’ve said it before @scottyno but maybe get out of your moms basement in southie and watch a game or two? Kemba’s precipitous downfall was easy to predict given his history. It’s not your fault Danny screwed up signing him to the max and that’s ok. The celts will plunder along with the Kemba albatross around their necks. Not much we can do about it now. Get ready for more 1-12 affairs since that’s clearly all he is capable of in big pressure spots against the elite teams in this league.
 

pjheff

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Most of you posting now, posted then (June 2019) and there was ZERO pushback on the Celtic's ability to get Brogdon then.
I really like Brogdon, but doesn’t he have some of the worst medicals in the league?
 

benhogan

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Given his claims regarding Graham he might be from the Doug Moe school of defense. (For you young'uns out there, someone once asked Moe, at the height of Denver's run&gun era, about his team's league worst defense. His reply was "We don't have the league's worst defense, our opponents do". It was sort of the ultimate Doug Moement.)
The ABA is criminally underrated on what it brought to the NBA.

Doug Moe being one of them
 

BaseballJones

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It's not an albatross contract if he can provide 20 good minutes off the bench in a Microwave scoring role. It would still be an overpay, but at least he'd provide significant value.

By the way...why do we call something bad (like a terrible contract that you can't unload) an albatross? In mythology, an albatross was considered to be a sign of good luck. And in golf, an albatross is a double eagle - one of the best scores you can possibly get (and honestly, nobody has ever scored better than an albatross on a single hole as I don't believe anyone's ever made a hole in one on a par-5). So why do we use that term in a negative way? Makes little sense. Whatever.
 

nighthob

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I really like Brogdon, but doesn’t he have some of the worst medicals in the league?
Yeah, that was the baked in risk with Brogdon, he has a laundry list of injuries. His knees are fine, though. However, at the time it was one of the reasons I preferred Kemba, he didn't miss many games and he looked like a good bet to be healthy until age caught up with him. Unfortunately a knee injury sped up that timeline.


I’m on team hogan and nighthob here. I’ve said it before @scottyno but maybe get out of your moms basement in southie and watch a game or two? Kemba’s precipitous downfall was easy to predict given his history. It’s not your fault Danny screwed up signing him to the max and that’s ok.
I don't know why people take these things personally. I was thrilled with the signing at the time. I was wrong. Not my fault. Not Kemba's fault. Heck, not even Danny's fault. Walker's track record made it a reasonable bet. We were wrong. It happens.
 

Cesar Crespo

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It's not an albatross contract if he can provide 20 good minutes off the bench in a Microwave scoring role. It would still be an overpay, but at least he'd provide significant value.

By the way...why do we call something bad (like a terrible contract that you can't unload) an albatross? In mythology, an albatross was considered to be a sign of good luck. And in golf, an albatross is a double eagle - one of the best scores you can possibly get (and honestly, nobody has ever scored better than an albatross on a single hole as I don't believe anyone's ever made a hole in one on a par-5). So why do we use that term in a negative way? Makes little sense. Whatever.
Because the birds are very big, so having one on you would be a burden to carry.
 

BigSoxFan

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Honest secondary question to this topic:

Do we think Brad will move Kemba to the bench if poor or uneven play persists (along with expected improvement of PP)? Kemba is saying all the right things now and is, by all accounts, a very good teammate. I do wonder if any of that changes if he gets moved to the bench to a role that the current version of Kemba is better-suited for.