The Boston Celtics got some more bad news recently on the NBA free agent front. Free agent backup center Greg Stiemsma’s agent has confirmed that Greg is very interested in playing in Minnesota for the Timberwolves and the Wolves would love to add Stiemsma. This is bad news for Boston because the Celtics can only offer Stiemsma essentially the qualifying offer of just under two million per year. The Wolves could easily and will probably offer Greg three million a year and this means Greg’s short time in Boston is up. However, unlike the recently departed Judas…oops Ray Allen, I cannot hold any grudges with Greg for leaving town for a number of reasons.
Greg would love to stay in Boston, but is not in the cards. Greg is smart enough to know that staying Boston on a contending team with a great coach in Doc Rivers and on court teacher in Kevin Garnett to help his growing process. Boston just cannot offer him the money earned because if they could, they would. The cap is a cruel animal. Boston like most teams need big men and Greg is a solid option.They would love to have him back to provide solid backup for Kevin Garnett. The Wolves can so I do not begrudge him for leaving town.
The simple fact is Greg has not made garbage for money playing professional basketball thus far. Greg has never had an NBA contract of substantial value. The fact is their is a market for any breathing body that can is over 6-11 and can play the center position even remotely adequate. If one shows potential then you can earn some solid money right now. Greg showed that he can do play and thus can earn a solid contract for the first time from a team. Greg needs to take that opportunity right now while the iron is hot.
He is also coming off a foot injury and who knows if he comes back to Boston if he can remain healthy enough to earn another opportunity at an NBA contract (see Greg Oden and Yao Ming). If he gets hurt then he has blown a chance to have security for his family for the rest of their lives provided that he does not blow it (see Antoine Walker).
Greg also is a great story. He had to scrape, claw, and work his ass off just to have an opportunity like he did last season in Boston. The man played overseas and took the D league route through obscurity. Stiemsma then busted his ass and made the most of his opportunity showing a strong desire to work hard and some raw skills defensively ( solid rotations and shot blocking ability) and offensively can knock down the jump shot and move well without the ball. The man earned Kevin Garnett’s respect and that is enough to know that you have earned the right to play in the NBA. Greg earned his first real NBA deal and I am glad he got. I wish him luck every night except against Boston. Remember Go Green or Go Home!!!!!!