Marc Stein on TrueHoop has the C’s once again in talks to win over their Argentine principessa, Andres Nocioni. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the great Stein:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings, in considering the feasibility of a Samuel Dalembert-for-Kenny Thomas swap, have discussed expanding that concept with Boston by trying to draw in the Celtics on a potential three-way deal that would land Andres Nocioni with the Celts.
Sources further stressed over the past 48 hours that this should be classified as an ongoing conversation as the teams involved decide how much they like what’s on the table.
But the full deal as it stands, if it eventually gets that far, would send Nocioni to Boston, Kenny Thomas, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine to Philadelphia and Dalembert and J.R. Giddens to Sacramento.
The hang-up is salary—Noc will earn about $7M per year through the 2011-12 season. You can double that for next season, when the C’s will almost certainly be over the luxury tax and thus paying a dollar-for-dollar penalty. As usual in the NBA, this trade has more to do with salaries than basketball.
(Side note: That Kenny Thomas deal is not mentioned enough in the Worst Deals of All-Time discussion. Ugh.)
Allen, Scal and J.R. Giddens represent about $6M $7M in expiring deals. Noc is more useful than all of them, obviously.
My gut reaction: This would be a good deal for the C’s. Yes, it’s a 3-for-1 deal, but when big games come around, the rotation is only going to go so deep. The most relevant skill leaving Boston in this (wildly theoretical) trade is Scal’s three-point shooting, and Nocioni can approximate that.
We all knew Ainge would try and use the Allen/Scal/Giddens expiring deals as trade chips. People tend to get carried away dreaming up wonderful deals, but $7M in expiring deals linked to role players (and in the case of TA and Giddens, “role players” is generous at this point) isn’t going to net you much more than a useful guy like Noc.
In other news, via the Globe:
• TA practiced yesterday. Hurrah.
• The Celtics are concerned about their screen/roll defense. Here’s Doc:
“Some of our defensive stands have been very good and then, five seconds on the clock, and the guy beats you off the dribble and gets all the way to the basket. You’ve got to guard the ball better, then there’s got to be a secondary guy, then there’s got to be a third guy. That’s why you watch film and have practices. We worked on pick and roll and we’ll work on it a lot [today]. Transition and pick-and-roll D, then the rest will follow.
• The C’s miss Big Baby in games, obviously. But it sounds like they need him in practice almost as badly: “I think it hurts you as much in practice. We don’t have enough ‘bigs.’ Kevin and Rasheed [ Wallace] and Perk [Kendrick Perkins] have to be on the floor every possession, almost, so that makes them tired.’’