Shaq Signs With Boston; Brown Likely Heading Back To Lakers

According to ESPN, Shaquille O’Neal has signed with the Boston Celtics. Zach Lowe has some Scattered Thoughts on the deal:

Still: This could work if a lot of things go right.

Shaq can be an asset for a team that ranked just 15th in points per possession and struggled to produce looks at the rim when Rajon Rondo couldn’t penetrate. Rondo and Paul Pierce are the C’s only real threats to create offense at the basket. When they are on the bench or pushed slightly off their game, Boston’s offense is reduced to a series of off-the-ball screens and side screen/rolls—last-gasp sequences run on the defensive, after the best options have been closed off. Against good defenses, those kinds of possessions ended too often with long, contested jumpers. Watch Game 7 again, if you can stomach it.

Shaq could provide some relief from that. I’m not saying he’s going to be out there beside the starters with 5:00 to go in the 4th quarter of a playoff game. But put him out there with, say, three bench players and Ray Allen? He adds a dimension that wasn’t there last season.

Shaq attempted 5.2 shots per game at the rim in 2010, more than any Celtic save Rondo, and he converted about 67 percent of those looks—well above average for a center. He’d add an offensive rebounding threat to a team that currently has only one (Glen Davis). He might be the only Celtic that could command a double team, and think about how rarely over the last two seasons Boston has been able to do something as easy as tossing the ball into the post and waiting for a double team.

Scoring is hard for the Celtics. Scoring is sometimes easy for Shaq.

Meanwhile the Post’s Marc Berman reports:

The Knicks’ chances of landing free-agent shooting guard Shannon Brown are just about over. Mark Bartelstein, Brown’s agent, told The Post the Lakers guard is “leaning” toward returning to the Lakers to go for a “three-peat.”

Brown is expected to make his final decision today.

The Knicks, according to a source, offered Brown just a one-year contract as they moved to protect their 2011 salary cap for a run at Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks offered him the full $2.7 million that they are under the cap. The Lakers have offered the fourth-year guard less per season, but multiple years.

It’s good to hear that New York was just offering a one year deal, as opposed to the previous multi-year reports. But you have to wonder why the team is looking at Brown anyway? They have a ton of SG/SF (Azubuike, Chandler, Fields, Rautins, Walker) and they certainly don’t need one that has a career TS% of 50.5%.