Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I mean, yeah, I would love to come back,” Wilcox said. “I would love to come back and be a part of this, because I just feel like I didn’t. . . . I wasn’t me, you know what I mean? So I want to come back healthy. I want to come back and be healthy right from the start of training camp and get a preseason in and find my way from the beginning.
“I think me being hurt and just rushing everything kind of put a toll on me and had me sitting when I could have been playing. I mean, I’ve just got to go back to the drawing board, get healthy and get ready.”
I legitimately feel bad for Chris Wilcox. And I’m sure he doesn’t want any pity for the season he just went through, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling bad for a guy that just couldn’t catch a break this season. The guy spent his entire career wanting to be part of the playoffs, and, depending on what happens down the line, his entire playoff experience might consist of 6 minutes played over 2 games (which really made finding any recent photos of him a problem).
I know, it’s hard to feel THAT bad for a guy who plays a game for a living and has made almost $40 million over his career. He’s still good enough to play in the NBA, and for that he’ll make at least another $1.4 million next season (or about $17,000 per game, before taxes) . So I’m not going shed tears for him. But wipe all that away and you have a hard-working guy who came off the same heart surgery Jeff Green had (and later in the year) who couldn’t get healthy enough to fight his way out of Doc Rivers’ dog house.
When you look at how little Doc used him at the end of the season, you’d think Wilcox’s days in Boston are numbered. While it’s most certainly possible that they are, he’s also one of those cheap players with whom the Celtics are familiar. And as much as he can say in that Herald piece that he needs to be more than just the guy who can run and catch Rondo’s lobs (and he does need to be more than that), he CAN sell himself as the guy who will run and catch Rondo’s lobs. Before Rondo went down, he’d assisted on 25 of Wilcox’s 45 baskets.
Doc Rivers values veterans who are familiar with his system. It’s possible he’s done with Wilcox, but would it shock ANYONE if the Celtics brought him back to fill out the roster? Not only would they get him at minimum wage, but he’d only be on the books for $884,293*. For a team that is especially conscious of every penny this season, this plays into Wilcox’s favor quite a bit.
I like Wilcox. I think that at that price, he can provide some value, even in limited minutes. He’s a guy Rondo is clearly comfortable with, and he’s a guy that, despite the injury setbacks, is truly trying to work hard and be part of the team.
But his run in Boston might be over. And if it is, he’s going to have to accept it.
“It’s been a great ride. I just wish I could have helped the team more.”
* The league reimburses NBA teams for older guys on one-year minimum deals. The Celtics would be on the books for the price of a 2-year veteran minimum contract despite signing an 11-year veteran. The league does this to encourage signing older vets rather than just going for cheaper, younger talent
The rest of the links:
Listen to last night’s Celtics Stuff Live show, where we start talking about the offseason, why the Celtics have little choice but to bring everyone back, and even the future of coaching.