The Boston Herald is reporting that the Pacers and Celtics are searching for a third team to complete a potential Marquis Daniels sign and trade deal. This development should not surprise any Celtics Hub regulars out there as I discussed the unlikelihood of a straight up trade being done between the two teams in a post last week. Here’s how I closed out that article:
I don’t really see how Danny will be able to talk his former teammate into helping the C’s out and making a deal here. Who knows, maybe Larry will show some love to his former team like Kevin McHale did and help us out. I just don’t see it happening, unless a third team gets involved. If not, Ainge will likely have to pursue other avenues to clear some salary and roster space if Daniels has to sign for the 1.9 million.
So, as I suspected the Pacers have not been convinced that taking back Tony Allen at a 2.5 million clip for this year would be beneficial to their team. Danny thus must now burn up phone lines around the league to try to sucker a team into taking TA and some of the teams’ youth (Pruitt, Walker, Giddens) in a 3 team deal with the Pacers.
If that isn’t hard enough, Ainge must also get said team to give up a player with a reasonable salary or potentially a draft pick that could be of use to the Pacers to make a deal worth their while.
I have no doubt Danny will search long and hard to find some willing participants in said deal. Not only would it allow the C’s the ability to preserve their biannual exception, the ability to shed some salary to lessen the luxury tax blow for next year, would likely be music to ownership’s ears.
That being said, I don’t see any team right now that would be willing to talk themselves into Tony Allen at 2.5 million a year in this economic climate, even if some prospects are packaged with him to sweeten the deal. Noting that, I only see a few possible ways Danny gets a deal done here.
1) Send extra money to cover some if not all of TA’s salary in a deal. This is probably the most feasible scenario out of the three as up to 3 million dollars in cash can be included in any trade. Ownership however would likely want to avoid it if at all possible given how much money they will be all ready spending on the C’s salaries and a luxury tax that likely will be in the double digits in the millions once the team’s offseason is all said and done.
Probability: Possible but not probable
2) Send a draft pick with TA in the deal: A few people floated this option during my last post, but I don’t see it happening. The C’s giving up a late 2nd round pick isn’t going to put any deal over the top and I think Danny (rightfully) values his 1st round pick too much to give one up in a deal for Daniels. This makes sense knowing that if worst comes to worst and a deal can’t get done, he can still sign Daniels for the BAE.
Danny also has a strong track record evaluating college talent during his time here. Given that the team will have to spend a lot of money elsewhere after this season resigning their own stars (Rajon Rondo and potentially Ray Allen) a cost controlled late 1st round draft pick is a valuable asset for Ainge that he will be hesitant to give up.
Probability: Highly unlikely
3) Package TA with Big Baby (and potentially Walker, Giddens, or Pruitt) in a larger sign and trade deal. This is a deal that likely would be the easiest for the C’s to pull off, but its probably a move that they would tentative to make since they have made it clear they want Baby back. The rumors have been out there that a lot of teams could be interested in Baby via a sign and trade so could an interested party be a 3rd team in potential deal with the Pacers? I wouldn’t rule it out. A deal like this though would likely require the C’s wanting an upgrade to their own bench in the form of an additional big man back to replace Baby or a backup PG.
I tend to think other teams would balk at those demands though if they have to take on the added salary with TA in the deal. Thus I would expect there would have to be lots of mixing and matching in order to make this scenario work given all the salaries and players likely to be involved. This would make things messy and that prospect makes any bigger deal like this unlikely to happen since it would make it tough to make all three teams content with the terms.
Probability: Slim but certainly possible if the right team gets involved
4) Don’t make a deal and instead sign Daniels for 1.9 million exception while trying to dump additional bench salary in separate deals. This proposition would likely be the least pleasing to Celtics officials but seems to be the strongest candidate to happen at this point, given the potential complications surrounding the other options I listed earlier.
Probability: Not a sure thing to happen but the longer it goes on, the more likely it becomes.
All in all, Danny has made some nice upgrades so far to the bench, but in doing so has limited his options in making additional moves this offseason. I have faith that Ainge will leave no stone unturned in trying to keep the biannual exception in play by bringing Daniels to town in a trade.
The question remains whether Danny will be able to find a deal that makes sense for this team in the short and long term with with a mostly bare cabinet of players from the bench to offer. An answer to that question is likely to be had this week. Our GM has shown the propensity to get complicated deals done in years past. It remains to be seen though if he can pull it off here which leads me to this question. Which of these options is most appealing to you guys? Should Danny hold out in trying to make a trade or just sign Daniels with the BAE and move on from there? There’s clearly no right answer here, I just want to know where everyone stands on this since I’m not sure where I do myself.