|Posted by B-PAUL on February 28, 2010 at 6:11 PM|
On February 18th the Boston Celtics pulled a blockbuster deal with the New York Knicks to acquire three-time Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson. Along with giving up a crucial member of the 2008-2009 championship team the Celtics also had to give up two young and up and coming players, Bill Walker and J.R Giddens.
Both of these guys are currently playing in their second year in the league and are extremely athletic athletes. This showed earlier this year when J.R Giddens won the team dunk contest and Bill Walker was invited to the D-League slam dunk contest during all star weekend.
With the talent on the current Boston Celtics squad it was very hard to find playing time for these two this season. Both guys played in multiple games for the Celtics D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. Giddens did have one opportunity to shine when he started in a game on January 2nd against the Toronto Raptors. In the game Giddens played 20 minutes and scored two points, it was clear that he was nervous on the big stage.
While in the D-League both of these guys dominated the competition. Walker was sent down earlier in the year and averaged 17.3ppg in nine games. Giddens was sent down shortly before his trade to New York and averaged 18.0ppg in four games. Although this isn't the NBA it was clear while watching them play that they both have the skill to play in the NBA, it is just a matter of time and opportunities until they both become solid role players in the league.
Since the trade we have seen Bill Walker log solid minutes for the New York Knicks and he is starting to prove himself with this opportunity. In three games for the Knicks Bill is averaging 5.7 points while playing an average of 17 minute a game. In the game against the Celtics at the TD Garden, Walker had two monstrous dunks and a total of seven points.
J.R Giddens has yet to see playing time for the Knicks but is expected to once he returns from his injury. Giddens is one of the hardest workers that I have witnessed since following the Celtics religiously, he is currently lifting weights, putting up shots, or doing whatever he has to in order to become a better player. In fact last Tuesday night before the Celtics-Knicks game he was out on the court, before the general public was allowed to come in, putting up shots.
Before that game I happened to meet J.R's brother and he said that J.R was happy with the trade because it opens up more opportunities. In Boston there was a very little chance he would see playing time, and now the transition to New York should allow him to show off his skills. His brother also happened to mention that he and J.R planned to stay in Boston during the summer. That got me thinking... Could he be coming back following this year, or for that matter could Bill Walker?
In all reality this is definitely a possibility for the Celtics. Giddens currently has a two year team option on his contract, which is most likely not going to be used by the Knicks. This means that he would enter free agency and would be available for any team to sign. At the same time Bill Walker's contract is also expiring after this season, which means he also will be available for any team to sign. With the Celtics lack of finances to work with it is a strong possibility that the C's sign one of these players in 2010 as they look towards the future.
Photos via Yahoo Sports/Getty Images/AP
Categories: Boston Celtics