Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
Marc Stein reported today on rumblings that Stephon Marbury might get his ticket out of New York, en route to...Boston. There are still some hurdles:
The fact remains, though, that Marbury has to extricate himself from the Knicks before he can make any firm future plans. Media outlets in New York have reported in recent days that Knicks president Donnie Walsh is planning to seriously rekindle buyout talks now that the calendar has flipped to 2009, but one theory in circulation holds that the Knicks have dragged out Marbury's release this long in part because they don't want to see him wind up as a contributor in a championship race with a team from the same division...
In buyout negotiations to date, Marbury has refused to surrender more than $1 million of his $20.8 million salary and, at last report, was no longer offering to give back that much. The Knicks have reportedly asked Marbury to give up at least $3 million for the right to choose his next team, although they could be moved to lower those demands if a trade materializes that requires New York to open Marbury's roster spot.
Some reaction from around the web:
Celticsblog judiciously lays out both the positives and negatives for Boston, and ultimately concludes that, though Marbury would certainly arrive with baggage, the downside is negligible when you look at the alternatives: "Given our limited options, Marbury might be the best option for giving this team a shot in the arm. Then again, it might also be a Plaxico Burress shot in the leg."
Paul Flannery at WEEI reminds us that if Marbury hops on the bus, someone has to get off: "For starters, the Celtics will have to clear a roster spot. They are carrying the full allotment of 15 players, which means somebody would have to go, probably from among the Gabe Pruitt, Bill Walker, Sam Cassell trio. Pruitt has shown flashes and Danny Ainge is a fan, Walker has been learning his craft in the D-League, while Cassell has kept busy playing one-on-one with Brian Scalabrine and serving as a de-facto assistant coach."
The New York Post's Marc Berman writes that Marbury is nowhere near New York or Boston right now: "Stephon Marbury is on a plane to Minnesota as we write to visit cousin Sebastian Telfair... Marbury was planning to check out Wolves-Warriors tonight and see Telfair vs. Jamal Crawford live, then head to Detroit for a business meeting."
Brett Pollakoff at NBA Fanhouse deems Marbury a high risk-low reward maneuver for Boston: "As far as Marbury becoming any type of distraction though, there's little chance of that happening with alpha dogs Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce around. Still, there's a chance. Which means that this seems like an awfully big risk to take for a team that is the defending NBA champs and has only lost five of their first 33 games."
Alan Hahn at Newsday's The Knicks Fix says that Marbury and Eddie House would have to work out their issues: "It's a curious fit for Marbury, who wouldn't get a lot of minutes behing Rondo and would have to contend with Eddie House for ticks at the two behind Ray Allen. Marbury and House have a private feud, which came public during a preseason game at the Garden in October. How does that get settled in the Boston locker room?"
Marcel Mutoni spells out his hathos at SLAM: "The idea of Celtics fans gritting their teeth after being forced to accept Stephon Marbury as one of their own makes me very happy for some odd reason. But not quite as much as the possibility that Steph could somehow be involved in the title chase this season. Simply amazing."