UPDATE: The Celtics are reportedly going to buy out Robinson’s contract and waive him according to Yahoo! Sports.
The Celtics are boring. B-O-R-I-N-G. At least they were, but today Danny Ainge made another deal, with more coming I’m told, to ship Jameer Nelson out of town in exchange for ‘Great Nate Robinson.’
Nate Robinson does a few things for the Celtics in the mind of Danny Ainge. Robinson was a captivating player in his time here because he’s so small, talks a lot of trash, is funny as hell and can score the basketball. People like that so reason number one is to put asses in the seats at TD Garden, who’s attendance is at it’s lowest point since 2007.
Back in 2007, the Celtics ranked 20th in the league in attendance with just 16,843 fans on average in the Garden. It skyrocketed to 18,624 (the capacity at TD Garden) in 2008 after the merging of the big three and they maintained a sell out streak until November 9th of 2013 after 289 sell out games straight. Now, the attendance is down to 17,445 on average this season and it’s because the flash was gone.
I’m not saying Nate Robinson completely solves the problem, but sometimes as a GM and an owner, you have to sell the fans on someone to root for and who better than the man who’s the height of the average man! Who’s jersey did you want on the Celtics? There’s nobody and I’m not saying Nate Robinson will be the hottest selling jersey, but he’s much more interesting to me than Kelly Olynyk.
Secondly, it’s yet another expiring contract for Ainge to dump at the end of the season. Robinson makes just $2.11 million this season and is an unrestricted free agent next season while Nelson’s contract runs until 2016. Manuevering money is going to a majority of what Ainge does in another lost season in Boston for the Celtics, but it’s all he can do.
Robinson, a veteran of the league since the 2005-06 season, is averaging just 14 minutes per game and his scoring is down to just about 6 points per game. He has the ability to score and that’s why he’s here. He will be a scoring option off the bench likely to replace some offense lost by shipping out Jeff Green. Nate will also look to revitalize his career with Boston as he heads into free agency for what’s likely his last contract in the NBA.