• The Cleveland Cavaliers have a deal in place to acquire Indiana’s Troy Murphy should their plan of dealing for Amare Stoudemire fall through, according to the Los Angeles Times (via ESPN.com). And reports in legitimate news outlets are beginning to surface that Stoudemire does not want to play for the Cavs. (Note: I don’t believe these reports, because Brian Windhorst, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s outstanding Cavs beat writer, Tweets that they are not true, as does Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!)
• After finishing up their mega-deal with Dallas, the Wizards sit just $2.6 million over the luxury tax threshold and want badly to get under that line, according to Chris Sheridan at ESPN.com.
But numerous GMs around the league say Boston has been active in trying to make things happen.
To quote one general manager who spoke with Ainge in the past 48 hours, “I get the feeling Boston’s getting desperate.”
With the Celtics looking more like an NBA Legends team than a serious title contender at the moment, Ainge has a difficult decision to make.
Put it all together, and the potential is there for an interesting Boston-Washington deal.
Let me start by saying I have no indication at all that this deal is going to happen, likely to happen, being discussed within either team’s front office or even on the table at all. (You hear that Danny Ainge? I am not some blogger in my Mom’s basement claiming to know anything. I am in fact writing this from the apartment in Manhattan I share with my lovely girlfriend, and I claim to know nothing).
There have been dueling reports about whether Boston, in its pursuit of Caron Butler, ever expressed any interest in Antawn Jamison. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, who broke the initial Butler/Jamison story last week, has stood by his report that the C’s were indeed interested in both. The Globe and the Herald, citing team sources, have declared (without saying so directly) that Woj is wrong, and that Boston was never interested in Jamison.
And as always: It is impossible to tell which public statements (even among the anonymous ones) are honest, which are lies, and which are subtle spins of the truth intended to shift public and front office perception in a particular direction.
With all of those disclaimers out of the way, the following deal works under the salary cap and saves Washington about $2.64 million this season, putting them a hair under the luxury tax threshold:
Boston receives: Antawn Jamison, Mike Miller
Washington receives: Ray Allen
I would be surprised if someone in Boston’s front office hadn’t brought this trade up at some meeting in the last few days or over beers in Dallas.
It’s an interesting deal all around. I won’t evaluate it in detail now, since it is purely speculative. But in general, I worry about Boston making a panic move that saddles them with some bad salaries going forward. Any move for Jamison qualifies; he’ll make about $28 million over the next two seasons, and he’ll be nearly 36 by the time his deal is over. (The same worry applies to Andre Iguodala, who is slated to make something approaching the GDP of a small nation through 20 freaking 14).
And all such worries are magnified by the prospect of a new collective bargaining limit kicking in after next season and before the 2011-12 season, when Jamison’s deal would still be in the books.