I reached out to the good folks at Blazersedge Thursday night about new Rocket Marcus Camby and got a reply this morning. That's always nice. In case you're unaware, Blazersedge.com dominates Portland Trail Blazers coverage, led by two of the Internet's best basketball writers, Dave Deckard and Ben Golliver. The community of fans is also unparalleled, and you'll see them stop by here from time to time.
I asked Dave a simple question: Does Marcus Camby have anything left in the tank? Here's his response:
How much does Marcus Camby have left in the tank? That depends what you want and when.
If you're looking for the Defensive Player of the Year, forget it. You're a half-decade too late. If you're looking for someone to anchor your defense by guarding a big guy one-on-one or keeping people out of the middle, Camby's always been overrated in those departments. Age hasn't helped. Nor will he be quick getting back in transition. Nor will he make every rotation on time. But if you need a weak-side help block, if you need rebounds, if you're looking for someone who, when motivated, can still move and isn't afraid to dive on the floor to make a play, Camby still has that.
Camby's biggest fall-off has come on offense. He was never great shakes but, aside from occasionally taking it to the hole off the dribble on a whim, he's limited now to the wide-open stand-still jumper. That said, offense was always an indulgence for him with the Blazers. If you asked him to do more maybe he could. I wouldn't hold my breath.
Brains and agility are Camby's greatest strengths now. He uses both to great effect when he wants to. Defense is about covering space and he can close with the best of them. You just can't ask him to do it on back-to-back nights, nor for much more than 20 minutes per night. He'll look pathetic on the second night or in his 32nd minute.
Every once in a while, though, Camby will bust out with an enormous game, reminding you who he used to be and why you better not forget it. These seem to come more often when he's enthused. My guess is that he'll be more enthused in the middle of a playoff race with a motivated Rockets club than he was with the under-achieving Blazers. Camby was great when he first came to the Blazers. There's probably enough greatness left in there to make the Rockets happy they have him.
This was a no-risk, possibly moderate-reward move for Houston. If you are tempted to get grumpy about what Camby can't do, remember what you paid for him. When the cost is that low the potential profit margin is always high.
Great stuff, as always. Hope this helps.