Let me preface this by saying that I'm a Celtics fan. And that I love James Posey and what he can do for the team. As one of the best bench defenders in the league, he can lock down just about any teams' star player singlehandedly. He also is a solid perimeter shooter.
As it appears, the Celtics will sign either Posey or Maggette and they both will be vying for four years of the mid-level exemption at around $5.8 million a year.
It is by these criteria that I believe that Maggette is better for the team. Posey is most likely the better fit for next year, but four years from now he's going to be the same as he is now, maybe even a step slower.
Corey Maggette has been a starter for the Clippers and will have to accept a bench role (which the Boston Globe has reported he's OK with) to play for the Celtics.
He is a significant downgrade defensively from James Posey, but his contributions on the offensive end are impressive. He could provide some much-needed scoring off of the Celtics bench as their lone reserve to be able to create his own shot.
After the 2009 season is where the benefits of having Maggette really begin to appear. As a player who averaged 22 points per game last year, he has shown he can be a starter in the NBA. This would allow the Celtics amazing flexibility with their roster, perhaps even enough to trade Ray Allen and his expiring contract after next season.
With the incredible crop of free agents expected after the 2010 season, most of the teams in the league are going to be looking to free up cap space, making Ray Allen one of the most desirable trade options for most of the league.
The Celtics could also keep Allen and use their available cap space in 2010 to go after a big name free agent as well. Allen only becomes expendable if there is a reliable back up behind him on the bench who can contribute offensively. Enter Corey Maggette.
The Celtics were blessed this season with health, especially from their big three. Something Danny Ainge has to be concerned about is what to do if one of them goes down, especially Ray Allen or Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnet is irreplaceable, but a dynamic scorer like Maggette could be a suitable fill-in for either Pierce or Allen if a mid-season injury should occur.