More Rumors: Big Baby for D.J. Augustin?
Posted by Brian Robb on Feb 9, 2010
Just when you think you’ve seen all the C’s rumors out there, we get a fresh one involving a guy no one was expecting to be dealt this trade deadline: Glen Davis. This one comes from Chris Broussard Via TrueHoop:
The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats are discussing a trade centered around Glen “Big Baby” Davis and D.J. Augustin, according to league sources.
The sources cautioned that nothing is imminent, but said the clubs are having discussions.
The Bobcats have been searching for a power forward, and the 6-9 Davis could be their man. The Celtics, meanwhile, have been longing for a backup point guard, and Augustin, who’s fallen out of favor with Charlotte coach Larry Brown, would be more than adequate.
A straight-up trade would not work because Davis is a base-year compensation player, so other players would have to be involved to meet the financial requirements. That could be a sticking point in the deal.
Count me among those who is extremely intrigued by this deal. A few quick thoughts on the viability of this one, after the jump
On the one hand, you have Big Baby who despite his off the court problems earlier this year, has given the team a lot of energy and production off the bench in his last few games. In the month of February he has chipped in with 7 points, 4 rebounds and an assist in only 17 minutes of action a game. His rebounding, above all else is something that this team desperately needs and he has set, if nothing else, a strong precedent with his effort on the glass recently. It’s something the 2nd team was lacking with Rasheed Wallace being allergic to the paint, so Baby has carried the bench unit quite well in that regard lately.
That being said, we are all well aware of Baby’s limitations. At 6-7, he is prone to being unable to finish amongst the trees. It’s not entirely his fault, but it is a major problem. Then there are obviously the maturity issues. All that considered, he is a useful 2nd big off the bench and is on a reasonable contract for this and next year (2 years, 6 million total).
On the other hand, D.J. Augustin is a very appealing trade candidate for a few reasons
1) He is a natural PG
The C’s bench unit may be at full strength right now, but it still lacks a natural point guard. We all saw how effective Marquis Daniels was on Sunday without the PG duties bestowed upon him, and while I know he can take care of the ball better than the masses, the fact of the matter is he is probably much more useful to this team as a 2/3.
Here is a look at Augustin’s scouting report from John Hollinger
Augustin is a tiny guard who excels in two areas. First, he’s an outstanding spot-up 3-point shooter on the weak side, so he can occupy defenders when he’s playing off the ball. Second, he’s a slick penetrator on the pick-and-roll who uses his quickness to get to the basket. Augustin had trouble finishing once he got there, making only 41.9 percent of his inside shots — the second-worst mark of any player with at least 200 attempts. This is an example of where looking to dish instead of to score will greatly further his career prospects.
Defensively, Augustin’s size is a problem because he’s too short to challenge shots effectively. It’s his major limitation as a player going forward. He needs to use his quickness to pester opponents more, and it would help if he’d pressure the ball to make opposing point guards work to get the ball up court.
A point guard who is an outside shooter and can penetrate? The Celtics could certainly use one of those to solidify their bench and give it more youthful energy, even with his defensive defiencies.
2) Augustin’s Contract
He is in the 2nd year of his rookie deal right now, which means if they traded for him the C’s would have him under their control for at least 2 more years at a reasonable price (about 6 million total for next 2 seasons). He would become a restricted free agent after that. That’s an attractive salary number for a team that is saddled well over the cap for the next 2 seasons.
Bottom Line: Obviously this is a rumor, but it is a deal that you can bet Danny would think long and hard about. Ainge would be giving up an asset to gain one, but he has to answer the question what would be more valuable to this team right now? Glen Davis off the bench or a natural backup point guard? For this year, it’s probably Davis, but long term at that price, Augustin makes more sense, albeit might be less useful with Rajon Rondo able to handle his lionshare of the minutes at point.
The salary issue is also a concern, since Big Baby is a base level compensation player which means the C’s would likely have to throw in another player or two to make the salaries work. All in all, it’s a tough call, but out of all the trade rumors floated around lately, this one might make the most sense for the C’s, especially if Danny uses another expiring contract (Scal, TA, etc.) to get another big man rebounder (perhaps Kurt Thomas who is reportedly being shopped on the cheap) in here to replace Baby. If Danny can pull that off, count me in on this deal.