August 22, 2008
Are you freaking kidding me?
(Not as in some whiny, mercury-quick way of saying that. More staccato. "Are you, freaking, kidding me?"-like)
We told the Bucks to stop using him when it was apparent that he was washed up in 2005-06, they didn't listen.
We told Portland not to trade for the guy back in 2006, they didn't listen.
We told New Jersey to take a pass last summer, at any price, they didn't listen.
But here Miami is, thinking he's an answer, even if it's only for 18 minutes a game. He has size. He can rebound. He won't be asked to score. He'll come cheap. There's no pressure. There's no risk. There's a solid reward if he turns it around. Hope, hope, hope, dream, dream, smoke, smoke, crack, crack.
It's Jamaal Magloire. He's done. At any price. Just because you recognize his name and only need to use one hand to count the years between now and his lone All-Star appearance, it doesn't mean you sign the guy. It doesn't mean you even think about it.
Just because he'll play for the minimum, it doesn't mean you do it. I'll play for the minimum. It doesn't mean you fly me into Miami for a visit. Especially not now. I'm Irish. I peel like you wouldn't believe. It's halibut-white to Sheer Heart Attack-red in one 20 minute stroll on the beach.
Just because he won't play many minutes, it doesn't mean you do it. Minutes count. The backup's backup counts, especially when the backup in question gets injured. Smart basketball people have been saying this for years - it's not the backup getting minutes that kills a team after an injury, it's the backup's backup. It's when Eddie Gill is getting minutes in the second quarter. Devean George. Milt Palacio. JAMAAL MAGLOIRE.
Every year teams and fans get stuck with the mindset that end of the bench-types don't matter, and every year poor roster choices kill teams in slight and subversive ways. Those 800 minutes that a guy like Magloire gives you hurts, hurts bad, and even accounting for the garbage time factor, having a millstone like Mags on the court is just bad news for all involved.
He can't move defensively. He can't run the floor, defensively. He'll rebound, but he also still wants to shoot. And he can't shoot, or score, or hit free throws once he pulls in a rebound and gets fouled going for the put-back. There's a reason he's been on so many teams over the last four years, and it's not because he's bringing anything to the table. It's because GMs are making bad moves based on name recognition alone. Rod Thorn and Donn Nelson, the two otherwise-astute men who employed Magloire last year, are among the worst in this area.
And yet, guys like Mags still get jobs, every summer. And the NBDL goes untouched. You don't think some (cheaper, by the way) NBDL guy couldn't top the seven points, 11.2 rebounds, 6.3 fouls, 1.3 blocks, and 3.8 turnovers per 36 minutes that Magloire provided last season? Throw in the fact that a younger player could actually keep up with his man running down the floor, throw in the ability to discover a diamond in the rough, throw in the improved practice play ... so why aren't we going to the minor leagues?
I asked Matt Moore, contributor to 14,000 fine websites but best known for his work at Hardwood Paroxysm, to shoot me a list of those who he thought could top Mags next year:
"Per minutes is a good
stat here. Lance Allred. I know, I know. But bear in mind that every NBA scout
loves his rebounding and he's an 80% free throw shooter.
Allred, Rod Benson, Chris Alexander, Elton Brown, Roderick Riley (points are going to be a stretch, but I could see it happening), Marcus Campbell, Glen McGowan, Nik Caner-Medley."
The point is that Miami has options, myriad options, and doesn't need to waste minutes and effort on this guy. Nothing against Magloire (how sincere did that sound?), but there's nothing there but a 4-on-5 situation. Stop with the vets, it's safe and it's an easy way out. Earn your salary, listen to the scouts that you pay solid money to, and demand that your coaching staff earn its salary as well.
I'll let Matt finish it:
"An important thing to note is the age of some of these guys. Chris Alexander is 28, 7-0. Marcus Campbell is 26. Elton Brown, who is amazingly efficient, turns 25 in September. Why not get some guys that can improve with coaching, versus guys who's ceiling is ‘not completely sucking?'"
Actually, I want to finish it. Stop recycling. Start bringing in younger players who, at their absolute worst, are going to contribute more or just as much, while making less money. Start with Jamaal Magloire.