The Boston Globe is reporting that David Falk, an agent for Sam Cassell, confirmed the NBA veteran would be sign with the Celtics after being waived by the Clippers earlier in the week. Falk said:
We've talked to all the teams that expressed an interest in Sam and nothing is going to change. He's still going to sign with the Celtics. The only unknown is if some team claims him off waivers. But I consider that to be highly unlikely.The addition of Cassell will add consistency to Boston's point guard play. Rajon Rondo, a second year player out of Kentucky, had step into the starting role and played well, averaging nearly 11 points and 5 assists on 48.8% shooting. However, Rondo lacks size and experience, two traits which are crucial for playoff success. Cassell provides those qualities and should help the Celtics to make a strong push for a championship.
Unfortunately, history tells us that signing waived players rarely works out as planned. In the last five seasons, twenty-four players have been bought out and signed by playoff teams after January 1st. Of those players, only eight averaged more than 15 minutes during the playoffs: Chris Whitney (Orlando in 2003), Brevin Knight (Milwaukee in 2004), Alonzo Mourning (Miami in 2005), Dale Davis (Detroit in 2005), Chucky Atkins (Memphis in 2006), Tim Thomas (Phoenix in 2006), Chris Webber (Detroit in 2007), and Eddie Jones (Miami in 2007). Even then, Atkins, Thomas, and Webber were the only players to average more than 9 points.
There is one final fact regarding these signings: Lindsey Hunter and Glenn Robinson are the two players who actually won championships. In 2004, Hunter signed with Detroit and went on to win the Finals. Robinson was a bench player for San Antonio in 2005. Neither player averaged more than 4 points a game.
Signing players off of buyouts rarely works. For Boston's sake, hopefully Cassell can buck the trend.