Post-game Reactions

The Celtics are exploring the possibility of trading Ray Allen and his expiring $19 million plus contract to a team in the top five of the draft in order to select Memphis guard Tyreke Evans, according to Chad Ford at ESPN

I’m moving around today, so I only have time for a quick analysis of each of the deals below. But when thinking about these trades, it’s always important to look past the initial nausea you feel at the thought of giving up Ray Allen for an unproven rookie and a pu pu platter of mediocre players and expiring deals. Here are some things to think about:

1) How good could Tyreke Evans be? There are readers here who know much more about college hoops than I do, but I’ve done my best to read as much as possible about every draft prospect. It’s not surprising that Ainge likes Evans, because Ainge loved Rajon Rondo, and the two players share some similarities. Neither was a good shooter coming out of college, though Evans (a true shooting mark of 53.5 percent second-lowest among the major guard prospects, and a dismal 27.4 percent from three) is better at this stage. Both can rebound and play defense, though Evans is bigger at 6’5″. An optimist would say he has monster potential has a combo guard on both ends of the floor. (For a ton of good info on Evans, see his DraftExpress profile and a great breakdown of the top PGs in the draft from Bret at Hoopinion). 

2) How much is Boston saving in ’09-10 salary? Even a few million matters, since the C’s will be paying the luxury tax next season. Every million bucks the C’s save by dealing Allen could be put to use signing players with the various cap exceptions. If the C’s owners have drawn a line in the sand at, say, $80 million, saving $2 million or so by dealing Allen (which is possible given cap rules) gives them $2 million to spend elsewhere.

3) How much are they getting back in expiring deals? In each of the offers below, the C’s are getting at least one decent expiring deal back. Add those to TA and Scal, and you’ve still got at least $10 million in expiring contracts to dangle. 

4) Do you believe Ray Allen will have health issues regularly? 

5) My favorite, constant question: Who plays shooting guard for the Boston Celtics next year? If you trade Ray, you MUST have a solution in mind. And it would help if that player were actually good. And how much to the C’s have to change their offensive structure without all the plays they run for Allen?

Without further ado, the offers, after the jump:

Ray Allen to Washington for Darius Songalia, Etan Thomas, Mike James and the #5 pick (Evans):

Quick analysis: The Celtics save nothing for 2008-09 in this deal, but they do get more than $14 million in expiring contracts in Thomas and James. (Bad news: Songalia has a $4.8 million player option in 2010-11. Ouch). Still, acquiring two not-awful back-up bigs could free up the C’s to use the mid-level exception on a swing man/Pierce back-up and still leave Boston free to re-sign Big Baby at a reasonable price. Songalia and Thomas aren’t stiffs, and both would be more useful than Mikki Moore was last season. You can win with those guys playing 10 minutes a game. 

On the other hand, the Celtics could acquire players at the skill level of Songalia/Thomas using available cap exceptions. 

James at first glance is interesting as a high-volume scorer off the bench. He LOVES to shoot, but he’s not very good at it (42 percent career from the floor). He’s a decent three-pointer shooter (38 percent career), but he’s not a distributor–his assist rate is below average for a PG–and he needs the ball in his hands a lot. I wonder how he would mesh with Eddie House and Glen Davis. 

Verdict: This is easily the most interesting offer Ford mentions, but I just don’t see how it makes the Celtics a better team next season, and the goal is to win a championship next season. 

Offer #2: Ray Allen to the Grizzlies for Marko Jaric, Greg Buckner, Darko Milicic and the #2 pick in the draft (Evans). 

The Celtics save no money in 2009-10 but acquire Darko’s $7.54 million expiring deal. Bad news: Jaric will make $7.6 million in 2010-11 and Buckner has a player option for $4.27 million for that season, though both expire after that. Having a few deals expiring after 2011 wouldn’t be a bad thing, considering the looming Rondo extension. Still, the C’s don’t get much financial relief from this trade.

Do I really have to analyze the deal in terms of its basketball impact? It’s a basketball disaster for the Celtics, barring some unexpected Milicic breakout (hi, Joe Dumars!) or a monster rookie season from Evans. I guess Jaric would back-up Rondo, Buckner could be a more dependable/less frustrating version of Tony Allen (though he’s just 6’4”) and Milicic would be a useful back-up big man–again, certainly more useful than Moore. 

But the Celtics could just as easily keep Ray Allen (and his expiring deal) and sign players of this quality (or better) using cap exceptions. 

The deal makes no sense for Memphis, unless the team is really so strapped that the idea of paying the #2 pick for two seasons is unpalatable. Where does Ray Allen fit in a starting line-up with Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo? 

Verdict: Puke. This seems like a non-starter.

Finally, Ford drops one more trade possibility on us, this one involving everyone’s favorite roller-skating point guard with an attitude that must be borderline poisonous (or a jump shot that must be totally incurable) if the C’s are really throwing his name out there this much. 

Offer #3: Rajon Rondo the Kings for Jason Thompson OR Spencer Hawes and the #4 pick in the draft. (Caution: It’s important to note, as Jeff Clark at CelticsBlog does today, that Ford’s piece says the Kings want Rondo, not that the Celtics are offering him up).

The Celtics would actually add a little bit to their payroll here (via Evans’ rookie deal), but they’d also acquire an additional expiring contract worth a bit more than $2 million. Of course, this deal leaves them with all of their other expiring contracts to work with going forward and relieves the “burden” of having to extend Rondo for big money.

It’s not indefensible. (Actually, it sort of is). I wouldn’t do it, and I don’t think Boston ever would, but it’s not indefensible. The general ceiling for both Thompson and Hawes is “decent to very good big man a notch–at least–below All-Star level.” I watch the Kings a lot late a night for some reason. Thompson is an athlete who can finish inside, with the usual caveat about young players being out of control and making lots of bad decisions. Hawes is better than you think, and he’s a decent jump-shooter for a seven-footer. But he barely hits half his inside shots, according to 82games.com, and that’s discouraging. 

Neither is an elite defender, and neither is likely to become one. But both could be starter-quality big men in their prime. 

If you believe Evans could be as good as Rajon Rondo, I can see why you’d at least talk about dealing Rajon for an Evans-Thompson/Hawes combo. 

But here’s the thing: Rajon Rondo is already as good as Rajon Rondo, and the Celtics are built to win right now. This deal is a step back in 2009-10 no matter whom the C’s acquire via cap exceptions. 

Verdict: PASS.

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  • silvershamrocker

    I agree. The Memphis deal is AWFUL. The Wash one would be better with Haywood instead of Thomas, and if you threw in Stevenson.

  • Any deal moving Rondo or Allen out makes me sick to my stomach! -ugh.

  • Gomez

    To move Rondo would be taking a step back. To move Allen would place more pressure for scoring on an Aging Pierce and the knee of Garnett.

    Albeit, Walker may be able to contribute with a year of experience under his belt, however only with the acquisition of a younger less accurate version of Ray Allen in Ben Gordon would this make any sense.

    We have a proven, future all-star in Rondo. Rondo may very well be the face of the franchise, along with Perkins and big baby. This is a solid nucleus to have fans look forward to…especially with the recover of Powe. They have a solid foundation to continue to compete and win future titles. Why would anyone take a crap shoot and risk crapping out to the failure of any prospective rookie.

    We need to focus on now and not who has next…and right now, we should look into acquiring a small forward to relieve pierce and/or allen at two guard. Personally Grant Hill stands out, but is definitely going to come at a high price. We may be better off by acquiring Matt Barnes or diougu as you suggested in past articles. He may be worth the risk. Ime udoku??? Currently with spurs is also an intriguing prospect who would bring quality defense and athleticism to boston. Something we assumed was TA's responsiblity lol.

    As far as big men are concerned maybe we should also look to motor city for our big man. We have our choice between mcdyess or wallace. Only if we can keep rasheed motivated for an entire season, we would be fine:)

    One last sleeper suggestion, why not try bringing back Gerald Green to play two and three. He did very well in his last year when Pierce went down and would be a nice fit back in the system at an extremely affordable price.

  • JDM9970

    I could deal with moving Ray Allen and his contract if we are getting something decent in return, but trading Rondo would upset me.


    If the celtic's trade Ray I'll moved out of Boston

  • sj

    stupid idea

  • sj

    trading rondo would be the worst thing they could ever do. he's the one that really steeped up in the playoffs when garnett did not play more than anyone else.

  • Gondo

    Moving Rondo will NOT happen.

  • andrew

    the celtics have guards already in pruitt and giddens; what hurts is needing another big 7 footer to defend and play gasol and for much needed height..powe and baby aren't tall enough let one go and get a real big man…

  • larry

    trade rondo or allen or paul or yes garnett for tyrke for he will be a big star

  • larry

    tyreke in my mind looks to be in the mode of the big o and i think hes better than kobe

  • $tylez

    The Celts should keep Ray Allen and Rondo, sign and trade other players to compliment them. So we can get back to winning plus with a healthy KG and Pierce, we will once again wing a NBA title. We need role players without sacrificing our stars

  • I'm not exactly an nba scout or any authority on the nba but wouldn't a good trade to memphis be rondo and allen for conley and rudy gay plus the #2 pick and use it on thabeet. that way we get a young point and a 2/3 plus a center off the bench that may turn out to be similar to Mutumbo.

  • Josh

    I cant even begin to think that the celtics would trade ray allen or rondo, for all they have for the team. Rondo has a breakout season last year and an outstanding postseason. And ray, of ray is ray and by the end of his career, he will be the best the best three point shooter in history and one of the best at last second shots. But you also have to add in his age, but i think that ray has at least 3 or 4 more solid years left. And i agree with Nick, any deal involving these two makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Isaac

    Brandon, It looks like a good deal especially with Gay and Thabeet. what we'll miss is Rondo's defense and tenacity. But I guess you lose some and you win some. I think it's definately a good look.

  • Josh

    And if age IS a concern, cut Allens min. down and let giddens or pruit see more of the court , itwould be fine by me

  • HPD

    powes constantly injured big baby is expendable tony allen should have been gone last season mikki moore is useless let them all go and GIVE ME BIRDMAN….if rondo and or allen get moved I will never watch another celtics game

  • We better not get rid of Rondo. Did you see how we struggled without him when he sprained his ankle. We lost and we lost BAD! Evans would work for us I believe but I do not think he's worth Ray Allen NO way.

  • Derek

    Leave the team the way it is!! Let Garnett heal over the summer and everything will be all good.

  • idk why we r taking about ray and rondo the fact is orlando has a beast in howard and the cavs r talking to shaq if we want to win the east we need some size. I think bosh or odom would look good in boston. could you imagin Bosh and KG in the paint that would be fun to watch. Last but not least and this is more than likely to rich for our pockits but get perkins out of there and bring in Boozer sounds great but dont think it will happen.

  • Jeff C.

    I agree with Derek. Our team is fine the way it is. We just need to heal and we will be celebrating #18. Rondo is a superstar, we better not get rid of him…..especially because I just bought his jersey! If anyone has to go, it might have to be big baby. as much as I like him, he does not have the heighth to contend with Dwight Howard…and now possibly Shaq in Cleveland? Aye Dios mio!(slapping forehead)

  • Kris B

    Glad thats not my job !!!!!!!!! CELTS 4 LIFE

  • aminel

    ray allen, should stay in boston celtics without him celtics would be in a doom. give credit to ray performance he is one of the key to get another ring. delete murbury, mike moore, get chrish bosh and the big three will retain. ray allen is the pure best three pionter in the history of nba. boston should be lucky to haved kg and specialy ray allen. long live ray allen

  • Juan

    One thing I've learned about being a Boston fan is that I can trust management in this city (outside of Jacobs). The Celtics management have done an unbelievable job by bringing a title here. Ray is due $19 million in this final year of his deal and if the Celtics find a deal, in which they believe will make the team better, we have to trust them. I don't want Ray to leave but if the deals right, why not? Unfortunately Ray is a perfect fit, due to his contract, for any type of big time trade. Also, to the people who want to let go of Big Baby, he's not even a Celtic right now, he's a restricted free agent and Carlos Boozer is an awful idea. Boozer plays more of a PF game which means there would be spacing issues if he started, he's not strong enough to body up with big time centers and if you take a look at his splits his numbers, while being at the center position, take a big hit only scoring 9 ppg while shooting at a 333% clip, as a PF he's at 16.2 ppg at a 490% clip. Unless he was a back up, which won't happen, Boozer just wouldn't fit into this Celtic team. Perk needs to stay, he's a big body who can body up, defensively, with the likes of Howard. As long as Perk gets his put backs and finishes when passed to, 1 on 1 offense isn't needed from Perk. This team desperately needs big men off the bench and point guard play off the bench. It looks like Eddie House will pick up his player option and if he buys into being with the 2nd unit and spending an entire training camp and preseason with the Celtics Marbury isn't a bad idea for back up PG. Which leaves the team with a gaping hole backing up the bigs. Celtics don't have a ton of money to throw around due to the cap but they do have a mid-level exception available if they choose to use it, players like Joe Smith, Chris Anderson, and Antonio Mcdyess are available and the Celtics could split their mid-level to acquire two of these guys.

  • j pirog

    hey e1..im a huge ray ray fan..and eveni agree we got our moneys worth from ray…he cost us the 5th pick szerbiak,and west…. i think that championship was well worth that wouldn't u agree..??well here's the deal if we keep ray ray 1 more yr we will get nothing for him when he becomes a free agent…we cant resign him because that money is already gonna be used to resign rondo…. so what would u pick resigning ray allen who has maybe 2-3 good yrs left… or sing rondo who has 8-10 yrs left????i think we could be in for a rude awaking allow i would rather see us grab hill harden or thabeet…… perk needs a back up,paul needs one and we would need a 2 guard…i think harden is gonna be the next paul pierce… tell me what u guys think

  • Jimm

    You know how much of an impact Allen's had on this team? Not to mention the numerous times he's saved our behinds at the end of games. No dealing RayRay!

  • jason

    plsss don't trade ray allen, plsss!!!! they do great last session give them some credit for that. Ray allen are not fitted with wizards, may be with phoenix but not in wizards plss.

  • Michael Henderson

    Celtics sound like they want to lose for the next few years to me. Why would you trade the best 3 point shooter?? Old my a**. HE RUNS BEHIND PICKS AND SHOOTS 3 POINTERS. Wow.. That type of play gives him 5 years. Pierce,Kobe take more of a beating than him being all around scorers! That's like the Pacers trading Reggie Miller! Why??? For a younger player who has not proved himself. And least to say, players now-a-days in the NBA can't even shoot consistant jump shots from 15-20 feet anymore. At least not like they use to. I HOPE BOSTON LOSES FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS IF THEY TRADE RAY ALLEN. I hope Ray goes to another team that's a contender and get's another ring!!!!!

    The team is worth keeping together one more year. And Rondo is 23 years old with a RING. What more do you want??? Want him to be perfect??? If so we should start calling him MESSIAH…No player is that perfect. Besieds Kobe, or LeBron for that matter!!!

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  • celtic love

    If we dont resign ray allen and paul peirce where done. back to the old losing ways danny if you smart sign ray ray and paul please for all the celtic fan we want this, we like goin to playoff winning,danny you was you make a great move by getting the big three together dont shoot your self in the foot you agrre guys

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