Boston Celtics: Samuel Dalembert

Grab bag: Dalembert a possibility?

June, 13, 2011
During the slower times this offseason (of which there could be many in a bummer summer with a potential lockout looming), we’ll occasionally reach into our Celtics Mailbag and pull out a question to field in the blog. Hop HERE to submit a question:

Rocky Widner/NBAE/GettyWould you like to see Samuel Dalembert in green next season?
Q: Chris, With the expectation (at least in my mind) that Big Baby Glen Davis is headed elsewhere to start next season, what are a few names you seeing as possible candidates to fill Boston's big man role? And why wouldn't Samuel Dalembert be a member of that list? -- Andy (Reston, Va.)

A: Very much like Portland's Greg Oden, who we addressed in the Grab Bag last week, Dalembert is a popular name among our Mailbag GMs (In fact, let's devote this entire space to him and we'll focus on other available bodies down the road). The 6-foot-11 center is set to be an unrestricted free agent and should draw quality interest on the big-man market. The question is, what are teams willing to pay for him? Dalembert earned a staggering $13.4 million last season in the final year of a six-year, $64 million he inked with Philadelphia in August of 2005, but that price tag will almost certainly come way down.

Dalembert put together some nice numbers in Philly, particularly the 2007-08 campaign in which he averaged 10.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. The most encouraging number, however, might be his games played column. Dalembert missed a total of just 18 games during the life of that contract extension, 16 of which came during the first season. He played a full 82 games four straight seasons in Philly, before appearing in 80 games for the Kings last year. For a Celtics team constantly ravaged by injuries -- particularly at that center spot -- the ability to stay on the floor would be a key attribute (Boston's only center under contract right now is injury-riddled Jermaine O'Neal).

Dalembert's rebounding numbers are enticing as well. Throw out the Sacramento season, where he lost his starting job for a stretch, and, in each of the previous two seasons, Dalembert finished third in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage. That included a gaudy 30.7 percent during the 2009-10 campaign (by comparison, Kevin Garnett finished a Boston-best 28.7 percent this season and no other healthy body on the Celtics' season-ending roster was above 17 percent). Dalembert's offensive rebounding numbers aren't too shabby, either, finishing in the top six in offensive rebounding percentage from 2008-2010, which wouldn't be a bad thing for the Celtics, even if they typically shun that area in favor of getting back on defense.

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Jeff Green
16.8 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9