I've finally come around on Brian Scalabrine. First off, I give the guy
a ton of credit for coming back and playing after suffering 3
concussions. He could have easily packed his bags and called it a
season without any criticism. But he strapped on that (goofy, yet
fitting) headband and became a valuable contributor during the
playoffs. He played tough as an undersized center on defense while
hitting 44% of his three point shots.
I never understood all the "high basketball IQ" praise heaped on
Scal by Doc and Danny. I always saw an overpaid, out-of-shape redhead
who rarely made a positive impact. But that changed once I watched
Mikki Moore's wretched play. Suddenly, Scal wasn't half bad.
Scal is entering the final year of a 5-year, $15 million contract.
To put it kindly, Danny Ainge overestimated Scal's value. It's possible
Danny could move the expiring contract for a more versatile (i.e.
better) player who has a longer deal. That would be my preference, but
after watching him in the playoffs, I feel that having Scal back for
one final year won't be the end of the world.
I've always said Scal got a bad rap. He is, and always has been, a
role player that should get about 15 minutes a game. Did Danny overpay
for him? Yes. But that's not his fault. You find me someone who'd
turn down more money than he's worth in anything, and I'll show you a
But this year is a bit of a vindication year for Scal. He wasn't
asked to do too much. He played a specific role, and he showed that he
can be on the court and not be a liability. He can hit most of the
open shots. He can run the offense and get the ball to the people who
need it, and he can be part of the defense without costing you.
All of that is more than people expected… but it's not enough to
make you stop looking for a better option. I agree with Chuck… if
Scal is involved in a trade, then I wouldn't be opposed to it. He
should be commended for getting the most out of himself. And he's a
nice back-up plan if, say, Bill Walker gets more minutes but
struggles. But let's be real here… there is room for an upgrade.