NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons Boston Celtics Should Pursue Anthony Parker

Luis Batlle@lbatll1Contributor IFebruary 23, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Reasons Boston Celtics Should Pursue Anthony Parker

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    According to ESPN senior NBA writer Marc Stein, the Boston Celtics are one of two teams interested in acquiring Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Anthony Parker.

    The East-best Celtics are in the running with the third-place Chicago Bulls, who look to add to their team before the deadline as well.

    With Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge making clear he wants to make a move prior to the deadline, look for Parker to likely be given an offer from Boston.

    With the trade deadline just days away, here are 10 reasons why it's in the Celtics' best interest to acquire No. 18 from the Cavaliers.

10. He Shoots Well From The Line

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    Not including an injured Jermaine O'Neal, Parker would be the third-best free-throw shooter coming off the bench for the Cs.

    This season, Parker is shooting 76.9 percent from the foul line. The Celtics team as a whole shoots just over 75 percent this season.

    Come postseason, it can't hurt to have a solid free-throw shooter off the bench, as the Celtics have struggled at times in the postseason from the line.

9. Experience As A Starter In League

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    It can be guaranteed that Doc Rivers hasn't and won't even consider the thought of starting Anthony Parker.

    Regardless, the experience gives Rivers the option to give him more minutes when players need rest. Last season, he started 81 games for a 60-win Cavaliers team led by King James. It might have been James' team, so to speak, but Parker was a starter through it all.

    Since his return to the league in 2006 from the Euro league, he has started in all but 16 games. Three of the five seasons Parker started every game of the season.

    With his experience as a starter and winning ways in Cleveland last season (certainly not this season), Rivers will have plenty of confidence playing him significant minutes with both the first and second unit.

8. He Can Shoot The Three-Point Shot Better Than Most

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    Aside from Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, there is not much of a three-point threat on this season's Celtics team.

    If there's one thing that Parker can and will provide, it's the ability to knock down shots from long range.

    This season he has been shooting 39.8 percent from distance and has made an average of 1.4 a game. As a member of the Celtics, he would be the second best three-point shooter by percentage behind Ray Allen. Pierce would be third, just over one percent below Parker.

    Not to mention, he has been on a tear lately, averaging nearly a mark of 47 percent from three-point range this month. He has hit at least two threes in five of his last eight games.

    Since the days of James Posey in the 2007-2008 season, the Celtics have lacked a player with the ability to come off the bench and pose a threat from deep.

7. His Skill Set Compliments The Bench

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    Parker is a player that prides himself on his three-point shot, ability to score the basketball in spurts and crafty defensive play.

    With Marquis Daniels out and Delonte West and the O'Neals still not 100 percent, Parker brings all of these elements to the table that have been missing.

    Defensively, the second unit tends to give up points, more than likely a lot more than Rivers wants. Parker is a player that time and time again has taken the challenge to play defense against top scoring threats on the floor.

    Without Daniels, this element is missing from the bench unit.

    Aside from Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Nate Robinson (Shrek and Donkey, as they like to say), there is no real scoring threat. Parker brings the ability to score the basketball to the table, which is certainly what Rivers wants to see more of from the second unit.

6. Better Defense Than Given Credit For

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    LeBron who? Parker isn't backing down.

    Time and time again Parker gives it his all at the defensive end, and nine times out of 10 against a team's better scorer.

    That is not to say that he is capable of shutting down a Kobe Bryant or LeBron James in a 48-minute contest, but for minutes at a time he can make life especially difficult for some of the league's best.

    On the 2007-2008 championship Boston Celtics team, there was a player by the name of Tony Allen who did just that for the Cs.

    Although Daniels is a force to be reckoned with on defense, it's fair to say that since Tony Allen, the Celtics have been missing that one piece to the puzzle.

5. The Will To Win A Championship

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    Poor, poor Parker.

    Throughout his career, Parker has had the short end of the stick, to say the least.

    Since his return to the NBA in 2006, he has played three years with the Toronto Raptors and the last two with the Cavaliers. In his three years with the Raptors, he would fail to make it out of the first round.

    The first season, the Raptors were taken down 4-2 in the first round by a Jason Kidd-led New Jersey Nets team. The following year, Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic would win 4-1 in convincing fashion, and the year after that, a 33-49 record would leave them just short of the postseason.

    Last season, with LeBron James and the Cavaliers, Parker was a part of a 60-win team. Coming up well short of expectations, Parker and company would find themselves watching the conference finals at home after losing to the Celtics.

    Talk about a tease.

    Parker is more than ready to win, and in Boston, he would finally have a team that can help him win his first ring.

4. A Player That Can Fulfill The Doctor's Orders off The Bench

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    After enjoying the spotlight in Los Angeles as the East's head coach in the 2011 All-Star Game, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is back and ready to finish the season strong.

    Rivers, with or without Tom Thibodeau, has been an advocate of winning games on the defensive end. With Marquis Daniels potentially out the entire season with a spinal cord injury, Parker can be the role player that gives him defensive stops in crunch time.

    A similar role that Tony Allen played in the Celtics' championship run, Parker would play in spurts in the postseason, taking on a team's scoring threat with relatively fresh legs.

    With the postseason just around the corner, a move for Parker would give Rivers more confidence in getting stops down the stretch when players like Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are more fatigued.

3. He Is Daniels Plus Offense

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    Marquis Daniels is a great role player for the Celtics, make no mistake.

    Yet when it comes to the offensive end, he lacks much of the skill set that a player like Anthony Parker possesses.

    This season Daniels averages 5.5 points a game compared to Parker's 8.9 a contest. Daniels does shoot the ball 49 percent, while Parker shoots 40, but takes far less shots.

    Parker also owns Daniels when it comes to shooting the ball from long range. His 39.8 percent from distance is 20 percent better than Daniels' mark.

    When push comes to shove, Daniels is the guy Rivers would prefer to go to, as he has been in the system and plays most defensive possessions like they're his last. Yet with Daniels likely out for some time, Parker would certainly help get the job done.

2. Get Him While He's Hot

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    As of late, Parker has been playing his best basketball of the season.

    In the month of February, Parker has managed to post 11.5 points per game, four rebounds, 2.6 assists and is shooting nearly 49 percent a game. The mark is eight percent better than his 40-percent shooting on the season.

    From distance, Parker is arguably as good as he's been all season, shooting 46.7 percent in the eight games this month.

    In his last game he scored 18 points while shooting 53 percent and grabbing nine rebounds in a win against a league elite in the L.A. Lakers.

    Boston could use Parker's hot streak in helping close out the season atop the Eastern conference.

1. He Gives The Truth His Rest

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    As you can see, Pierce is hoping someone can answer his plea.

    The main reason Ainge has been flirting with trade options is for one reason: to keep Paul Pierce rested for the playoffs.

    After Daniels went down on a collision with Orlando Magic guard Gilbert Arenas, there was much concern in the organization as to who would back up Pierce at the small forward position.

    Despite being listed as a shooting guard, Parker's 6'6'', 210-pound frame gives him the size to play the small forward position for the Cs.

    Since the injury to Daniels in the victory over Orlando, Pierce has been forced to play more minutes. In the five games played without Daniels in the lineup, Pierce has played 40 minutes in two games and 35 in two others.

    With age comes fatigue, and with fatigue going into the playoffs a team may encounter problems. Paul Pierce is a proven All-Star player in the league and one capable of playing the increased minutes, but it's exactly what Rivers doesn't want.

    Pierce will need fresh legs in May and June, which is precisely what a player like Anthony Parker will allow. A solid 15 minutes a game would give Pierce the rest needed to stay healthy in the last stretch of the season.

    Parker would provide just that.