Post-game Reactions

It appears the Celtics are not going to pull off a trade for Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. Instead, the Wizards are on the verge of dealing Butler to Dallas in a separate trade that will look like this, according to ESPN.com:

Dallas receives: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson

Washington receives: Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Expiring Contract Filler

On the one hand, it’s easy to see why Washington prefers this Butler deal to the offer the C’s made for Butler and Jamison (Ray Allen, J.R. Giddens and Brian Scalabrine). The Celtics were offering cap relief in the form of expiring deals. The Wizards get the same cap relief if they want it, but they also have the option of picking up Josh Howard for next season at a salary of $11.8 million, according to ShamSports.com. It seems like Howard’s still young, but he’s not; he’s 29. But even so, he’s five years younger than Ray Allen and just two years removed from an All-Star season during which he appeared on the verge of developing into a stud swing man. 

The Celtics don’t have comparable talent to offer. 

But they had something else: The ability and (possibly) the willingness to take on both Butler and Jamison. 

That raises a question: What happens to Jamison now?

I assumed at first that the C’s would remove themselves from any Jamison talks once the Mavericks close this trade for Butler. The C’s and Wizards could still build a deal centered around Jamison and Allen; a package of Jamison and Mike James, for instance, works in terms of salary. But that deal isn’t worth it for Boston, even if you evaluate it based solely on this season and ignore the fact that Jamison has more than $28 million coming to him over the next two years. Trading one aging former All-Star for another aging former All-Star is (at best) like running in place. The idea of the Butler/Jamison deal was to use Allen’s bloated salary to nab two former All-Stars. 

Ah, but Adrian Wojnarowski, who broke the original C’s-Wiz story this morning at Yahoo!, is reporting that the Celtics are still discussing a deal for Jamison

This, frankly, surprises me, unless the C’s could pry another asset from the Wizards in exchange for taking Jamison. Trading Allen (and change) for Jamison (and change) amounts to rewriting the playbook in February, creating a gaping hole at the two guard spot and taking on $28 million in added salary over the next two seasons. I don’t see the incentive—unless Washington ends up offering some sweetener. 

What that sweetener would be, I don’t know. Randy Foye? Eh. A first-round pick? I can’t see the Wizards surrendering one, even for the privilege of foisting Jamison’s deal on Boston. 

But the C’s might be in a position of strength here. The market for Jamison is limited. Cleveland is the only other team reported to have expressed any serious interest in Jamison, but Cleveland, as of this very moment, seems to have turned a decent chunk of its attention to at least talking to Phoenix about Amare Stoudemire, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer (via ESPN.com).

Let’s ignore for a second how terrifying a LeBron-Stoudemire scoring combination could be for Cleveland. That screen/roll would be frightening. If Washington loses Cleveland as a potential market for Jamison, they may get more desperate to deal him. 

In any case, the next five days are going to be interesting.

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Zach Lowe

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  • J

    Lebron-Amare would be just as good if not better than a Lebron-Wade combo. If this trade does happen, I really don’t see the Cs getting past the Cavs if we meet them in the Finals..that is if we get past the first round of the playoffs.

  • NV

    If the Cav’s get Amare almost the whole Eastern Confrence is screwed.

  • Sam

    Why not Mike Miller? Makes too much sense.

  • Dan

    I don’t see how this trade works. The only big piece the Cavs have is Z. Even if they throw in a good prospect like Hickson, it’s still not enough.

    Unless a 3rd team is involved, the only possible deal – assuming the Suns don’t want to pay Delonte West to be Nash’s backup/shotgun totting bodyguard – is Amare for Z, Hickson, Powe and Williams. Doesn’t this seem like a 3rd team would need to step in?

  • Michael

    This deal (Amare – Big Z/Hickson/Williams) does work, in more ways than one.

    1) Consider that Phoenix Suns’ owner, Robert Sarver, is not in a position that affords him to pay a lot of money for luxury tax. So far, last season and this season have seen the salary cap go down and the luxury tax threshold shrink. This affects the teams player personnel decisions immensely. So, Steve Kerr is under immense pressure to cut costs so that they remain under the cap and clear of the luxury tax. If Amare does not walk — which he probably won’t, because he is not guaranteed to make as much as he is due next season and would leave millions on the table — then the Suns are eating a lot of luxury tax penalties.
    Financially, Big Z’s contract is listed at $11m, and to make the deal work — matching Amare’s $16m contract — you throw in Hickson and Williams. But in reality, Big Z’s contract will effectively erase $20m off the books for the Suns. They save even more (somewhere between $3m – $6m), as they are most likely going to buy him out. Add to that Williams’ expiring $700k deal (additional savings) and a talented PF prospect who will definitely be around next season — at a discounted price, the Suns would be coming out of the deal looking good financially.

    2) Amare is unwilling to sign a long-term extension with the Suns, and having an option to either stay for next season or walk this summer, he holds the keys to his future. This puts the Suns in a precarious position, because they want to be assured that they have a future to look forward to. Why risk losing him for nothing? Trade him and get something back — with some financial breathing room.

    3) JJ Hickson may not be an All-Star, but his career is just starting and it is showing a lot of promise. He plays with more hustle, effort and energy than Amare — who many people in Phoenix have labeled as being lazy. Amare, in his tenure in the league, has yet to apply himself fully to the game.
    If the Suns are certain that they cannot compete at a championship level and it is time to re-tool the team, why not start over with a younger player who shows promise, is cheaper and who applies himself to playing at a high energy level all the time.

  • Michael

    For the Cavs… It’s pretty obvious. Adding Amare tells LeBron that they are serious about building a solid team that he can compete with for future seasons past this year. Shaq helps this year — but at the end of the season he is off the books for $20m. They can resign him to help compete for further championships, but any new deal is bound to be significantly discounted, which would leave them with a core of LeBron / Amare / Mo / West / Varejao to build around. They could take some of the money they save from Shaq’s $20m coming off their books to sign a complementary star (like Joe Johnson, Michael Redd, or Carlos Boozer)… Or — if things worked out for them this post season — they can use some of that money and resign Shaq and Big Z at a discounted rates for next season.

  • Kevin

    If Amare goes there C’s and whole East is screwed although I was looking at something the C’s could do to counteract that move in a HUGE way. I say trade Ray Allen and Sheed to LAC for Camby and Eric Gordon.

    This trade works in Celts favor for the simple reasons of we get an above average defender in Camby and awesome rebounder which we are missing. Camby would also be used to defend Amare which is not a bad 1-2 with KG and Camby defending him.

    Celts get a nice young Shooting Guard in Eric Gordon.

    There are several moves the Celts could do to achieve this trade at that. One is to take Sheed out and put Scal or T. Allen and maybe a draft pick.

    It also benefits LAC in the fact they get an expiring contract in Ray and either expiring contracts in Scal or TA and a draft pick. This is a win win for both teams cause LAC also get rid of the 9Million salary in Camby.

  • Mr. C

    A. Jamison & M. Miller for R. Allen & G. Davis works in the trade machine. http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yguybzc

    I like this deal for the C’s; not sure it works for the Wiz, though. Wiz get cap relief and a productive PF locked up for 2 years @ 3M per, but they lose Miller’s 9.8M expiring contract to use in other deals now or at the end of the season (in a sign & trade).

  • Not bad, Mr. C. Miller as the sweetener is the sort of thing I mean.

  • Brad

    @ Kevin,

    I’m not sure that LA would want to part with Gordon, especially with the young core he provides along with Blake Griffin. Also, I have LAC as my sleeper pick to win the LeBron sweepstakes. Can you imagine Griffin, Gordon, LeBron, Baron, and Kaman on one team? terrifying. Maybe they would want to assume Ray’s contract for someone else to free up space for this big free agency, but Gordon doesn’t seem to fit the bill. I’m just musing, after all I’m no analyst.

  • Rick Middleton

    “There’s nothing close.”

    That’s a more believable answer.

    Out and out denials are not believable.

  • Kevin


    Then another possibility would be move Ray to Detroit for Ben Gordon in some type of move but I think LAC will be willing to move Gordon if it means moving Cambys big contract but I am not sure Camby has an expiring contract which would be great for them IF he does not.

    Got to admit though the thought of Eric G and Rondo in backcourt is pretty sweet though for years to come.

    LA is not big enough for the likes of Kobe and Lebron though lol.

  • Kevin

    IF Cavs get Amare. Lebron goes NOWHERE next season but stays in Cleveland in my opinion

  • @Kevin: Camby’s deal is expiring. The Clips will not move Gordon with it. Gordon is untouchable in any case.

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  • Kevin


    It was wishful thinking while I am at work today is all. That in my opinion is the type of player Celts would need in my opinion to move forward this season and years to come.

    I personally would much rather have Camby over Sheed at this point.

    Do you think any possibility of getting Ben Gordon in some type of deal for Ray Allen?

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  • I don’t think the Pistons are interested in dealing Gordon having seen so little of him this season. All reports suggest they want to trade Prince and/or Hamilton. That parallels with the Wizards trade are obvious: Is Allen’s expiring deal plus filler enough to pry two high-level players from Detroit? Doubtful.

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