Desperate times call for desperate measures. But while the Boston Celtics may be desperate for consistent bench production, General Manager Danny Ainge might be better served to look elsewhere than to the maligned New York Knicks point guard, Stephon Marbury.
Marbury, 31, is entering the final year of his $20.8 million contract. After constant problems with the coaching staff and head management over the years the Knicks have decided it is better to part ways with Marbury, attempting to establish a buyout with the Brooklyn, New York native.
While this may seem like an opportunity for the Celtics fill an important role missing from their bench, chances are that Marbury will still be sitting at home collecting his paycheck from Donnie Walsh.
New York would love nothing more than to get Marbury off their hands by establishing a buyout. Easier said than done. Marbury has already expressed his displeasure with the Knicks decision to first, suspend him, then fine him $400,000 after they alleged he refused to play in a game earlier in the season where the Knicks only dressed eight players. The NBA Players Association is planning on appealing Marbury's suspension.
If that wasn't enough, Marbury's wife spoke publicly of the matter and expected her husband to collect every penny remaining on his contract, and the Knicks original attempt to reach a buyout was extinguished by Marbury in a matter of 15 minutes. It's clear that the man's primary focus is on milking what's left of the last monster contract he's likely to receive.
The only way the Knicks are likely to rid themselves of Marbury is by waiving him or trading him, scenarios that are both unlikely to happen. Marbury would likely clear waivers and the Knicks would still be stuck paying his full salary while watching him join the Boston Celtics for peanuts. Not a chance Walsh allows Marbury the pleasure of having his cake and eating it to.
The other alternative is through trade which removes the benefit of having no risk to acquire him. Signing Marbury to the veterans minimum allows a team to simply waive him if they encounter problems with team chemistry or off court drama, which makes any risk of signing him very low. Acquiring Marbury through trade removes this benefit. Contending teams aren't likely to put together a trade or take on salary for a player who's carrying this much baggage with him.
Why should Boston or any contender waste their time waiting for Marbury's unlikely buyout anyways? This is not the 20 ppg, and 8 apg player we saw with the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets in the early part of the decade. Marbury hasn't played a playoff game since 2003-2004.
Forget the playoffs, Marbury practically hasn't played basketball since the 2006-2007 season (He played 24 games last season, where more time was spent feuding with then Head Coach Isiah Thomas than actually contributing on the court.). What exactly again is the incentive for waiting for an aging, troublesome point guard who hasn't sniffed an NBA minute the entire season?
Top executives like Danny Ainge, Mitch Kupchak, and Danny Ferry may be looking for a late Christmas present from the Knicks, but the fact of the matter is that Stephon Marbury is nothing a but a lump of coal waiting for the stocking of anyone foolish enough to wait for him.
Look elsewhere gentlemen, nothing to see here.
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