You'll never guess who won out.
Eddie House, who spent two seasons and part of a third with the Celtics between 2007 and 2010, will not be returning to Boston. House is instead taking his talents to South Beach, joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the Miami superteam in their quest to win it all in 2011. The cash-strapped Heat were able to offer House a two-year deal at the veterans' minimum, worth about $2.8 million with a player option in the second season.
After playing with nine teams over the course of his first 10 NBA seasons, House has just one ring to show for it — with the Celtics in 2008. While there was a mutual appreciation between House and the Celtics organization, the two parted ways at the trading deadline in February when House was traded to the Knicks for Nate Robinson.
There was hope during this month's free-agent frenzy that House could return to Boston. But being over the salary cap and strapped for spending money, the Celtics could offer him nothing more than the veterans' exception. Being one of the best pure shooters on the market, House had reason to believe he could do better financially elsewhere. The Knicks had plenty of cash to bring him back, and the Bulls expressed interest as well.
But what did House do? He signed for the veterans' exception, but not in Boston.
And this shouldn't be a surprise. When House came to Boston in 2007, it proved that his first and foremost goal as an NBA player is to win championships. That's why he arrived in the Hub — to compete for a title alongside Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Now that the Celtics' Big Three are all on the wrong side of 30 and the Heat's superstar trio is just getting started, House has jumped ship to another situation where he's got a chance to win. One ring isn't enough — in this game, you've got to be greedy.
House will be a great fit in Miami. The Heat were in need of bench role players, and they've now added one who's shot over 40 percent from 3-point range three times in his career. House will come off the bench and be a lightning rod for a Heat offense that's already pretty electric.
House's presence will space the floor. He and Mike Miller are two of the best in the business at knocking down open jump shots. When those two guys are out there, what can you do? You can't leave them open; it's a guaranteed 3. But you also can't avoid double-teaming LeBron or D-Wade. No matter what you do, someone's going to beat you.
In Boston, the Celtics will cope without House. They traded him for Robinson, remember, and Robinson is the bench scorer of the future in Boston. He's going to hit jumpers, infuse energy into Celtics' second unit, and work wonders for the chemistry in the TD Garden locker room.
The Celtics have a bench scorer in Robinson. They have a wing defender in Marquis Daniels. They've got a defense-first point guard in recent draftee Avery Bradley. Their bench is doing just fine without House, and their ownership is saving a cool $2.8 million.
House will be missed in Boston, but the Celtics will be able to move on. And down the road, they just might see House in a playoff series next spring.