Celtic Baron Davis: Pro and Con
Let's not argue the merits of a healthy Baron Davis. When he's healthy and motivated, Baron Davis is one of the best point guards in the league. It's when he's either unhealthy (e.g.: back problems) or unmotivated (e.g.: this season) that he is a tremendous liability. Let's suppose that a healthy and motivated Baron Davis would be a good fit for the Boston Celtics: he plays uptempo, he's young, he's friends with Paul Pierce, and he will be a tremendous veteran to have on your roster in 2-3 years when the Celtics are contenders.
I want to address three very specific questions regarding the possibility of the Celtics obtaining Baron Davis:
1) Would he be motivated?
2) Given he is motivated, what are the chances he remains healthy?
3) Do the Celtics have a package not including Pierce, Raef LaFrentz, Ricky Davis?, or any of the rookies or sophomores?
BD has made no secret of the fact that he wants to play in LA, but there are other Celtics who wanted to be in la-la land, among them Pierce and Payton. Marcus Banks almost was a Laker over the summer. But playing under Doc Rivers, a former exciting point guard himself, and playing alongside Pierce et al., in a storied franchise, where he could in 1-2 years be on a team that contends for the championship for several years -- that's gotta be enticing for anybody. In other words, Pierce won't let him loaf.
If he is truly motivated, from the inside out, to play, then what are the chances he remains healthy? The big problem is that his contract is reportedly medically uninsured. The team will not get reimbursed the 80% of the salary that insurance usually covers. That's four years of guaranteed risk to be running.
In Charlotte, he played 82 games for three straight seasons. When the team moved to New Orleans, he played 50, then 67, and now only 17 out of a possible 53. His problem has most often been his back, a very serious concern. Taking the average percentage appearance over all six seasons, he appears in just under 80 percent of the games, meaning he is expected, if that's the right indication, to play in about 64 games per season.
The key question then is: would BD be motivated as a Celtic playing alongside Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis? Would he play with the reckless abandon Doc Rivers requires, giving an impossible 110% even on a team with a mediocre record?
I think he would. I think he is unhappy in New Orleans for one reason or another and I think playing alongside Pierce and