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President’s Day Trade Update Notebook: Anything’s Possible!

 

We’re three days from the trade deadline, and the anonymously sourced reports are flying like mad. Let’s try and distill some Celtics-related consensus out of the crazy blizzard of news:

• Ray Allen’s expiring deal seems to have fallen out of the news mill as a trade chip likely to get moved. The Big Trade focus now is coalescing around Cleveland’s pursuit of Amare Stoudemire and/or Antawn Jamison, and which of those two players Cleveland finally targets may depend in turn on what the Suns can get in exchange for Stoudemire. Reports from both Chris Broussard and Chad Ford on ESPN.com indicate that Phoenix isn’t thrilled with the Cavs package of J.J. Hickson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas for Amare. 

Broussard also reports that the Cavs offer, so widely reported, has pushed other teams to ramp up rival offers for Amare. If the Sixers are willing to offer Andre Iguodala, the Suns may prefer that package—even if they have to take Sam Dalembert as well. And if Phoenix deals with Philly, we may see the Cavs move onto Jamison or Troy Murphy, both of whom can take opposing big men all the way out to the three-point line. 

• Another variation: Ric Bucher reports that the Sixers, Suns and Heat have discussed a three-team deal that would send Amare to Miami, Iggy to Phoenix and Michael Beasley to Philly. 

• Want to think two steps ahead? Then contemplate this mind-bender from Chad Ford’s piece (linked above):

Given that the Cavs have concerns about well Stoudemire and Shaquille O’Neal would fit together, the team would consider moving Shaq if it acquired Amare. For instance, the Cavs could swap O’Neal and their first-round pick to Washington for Jamison and Mike Miller. They could send the same package to Indiana in a deal for Murphy and Mike Dunleavy. 

Yowza. Whatever Cleveland decides to do at the deadline, I’d be shocked if they moved Shaq. He has been playing better lately, and I just don’t see the team shaking things up to that degree. They have the best record in the league!

In any case: Ray Allen has fallen off the map/rumor mill as we approach the 72-hour mark before the deadline. 

• Paul Flannery steps back and looks at the broader trade landscape from Boston’s point of view at WEEI.com. Flannery agrees that Ray Allen’s deal is likely not enough to bring Boston a big piece in return:

The problem is that none of those teams have a compelling enough reason to give up their young stars for nothing more than an expiring contract, and that’s really all the Celtics have to offer.

Allen provides zero long-term gain for any potential trading partner, which is what Danny Ainge meant last week when he told The Big Show that the Celtics value him more than other teams do. 

Flannery then revisits what I’ve long considered to be Boston’s most likely scenario at the deadline: the bundling of two of three minor expiring deals to net a complementary piece from a team looking to slash payroll in 2011. The easiest example is Brian Scalabrine/Eddie House OR Tony Allen to Chicago for Kirk Hinrich or John Salmons. I would bet money that Boston has discussed this exact deal, at least internally if not directly with the higher-ups in Chicago. 

I’d also bet that Chicago is biding its time before the deadline to see if they could get something better than just 2011 cap relief for Hinrich or Salmons. For example:

• Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! (with an assist from Marc Spears) reports that the Blazers, Lakers and Bulls may be discussing a three-team deal that would send Hinrich to the Lakers, Adam Morrison’s expiring deal, an unidentified expiring deal and a first-round pick to the Bulls and Ty Thomas and Sasha Vujacic (!) to the Blazers. Portland would then try and move Vujacic, who will earn about $5.4 million next season. (And is extremely annoying). 

That deal would net only a first-rounder and cap relief for Hinrich. Perhaps a future first-rounder is the sweetener the C’s would have to add to get Hinrich and his 38 percent field-goal percentage? 

Kirk Minihane at WEEI has a nice, thorough piece discussing Dennis Johnson’s qualifications for the Hall of Fame. It’s not a biased pro-Boston piece, and it has lots of solid numbers and context. If you want a quick primer on the case for DJ, this is a good place to look. Here’s one quick sampling:

Dennis Johnson played in five All-Star Games. There are 21 other players eligible for the Hall of Fame who have played in five All-Star Games. Nine are have been elected. 

I was a little surprised to see that D.J. played in just one All-Star Game for the Celtics, but it makes sense when you consider that A) Jordan and Isiah were the starters every year and B) The Big Three made it every year.

My take on DJ: His post-season resume is so good that he deserves enshrinement despite stats that don’t overwhelm.

  • Sam

    That’s my take on DJ as well.

    I’m also in agreement that if we do something in the next three days it will be moving a couple of minor parts like you said.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    DJ was not mister flashy, but he was definitely Mr Consistency. I don’t remember how many times they would try to pressure DJ in the back court bringing up the ball, & he would just sorta slowly, ploddingly bring the ball up every time. He was like a bank. You just trusted that he was going to take care of any deposit, like the glue which held it all together.

    One thing I’ve noticed about the Cavs rumors is that the plan is to give up Z. The other team will then waive Z, & after 30 days the Cavs will resign Z. Doesn’t that sound criminal / diabolical (unless we could do it)???? My only hope is that they have chemistry issues like the Lakers did that time when Karl Malone & the glove tried to contrive a championship.

  • Rick Middleton

    Ray Allen is staying put.

    Minor tweak at best.

  • Rick Middleton

    C’s could go 0-4 on this road trip and still make a push in March.

    At one time, the C’s thought they could just flip the switch and start playing well.

    Now they’re all waiting for somebody else to flip the switch.

    That somebody is Doc Rivers.

  • Rick Middleton

    Damn, that was pungent post,

    Huh?

  • John

    Given the fact that Washington wants to move $2.6 million to get under the luxury tax and the fact that this deal would do so perfectly, the most likely megadeal I see maybe being pulled off is Ray Allen for Antwan Jamison and Mike Miller. We’d get an arguably more productive two-guard and some more KG insurance that could help the offensive end/rebounding (the team’s offensive numbers when KG’s on the court are pretty terrible, and he’s not been shooting well since coming back from the injury).

    If that deal is made, we could then swap out Glen Davis for some backcourt production– either by adding Foye to the Washington deal or for Augustin from the Bobcats or something.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @John: I agree, and I’m scared.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    some major deals will definitely still go down. washington, philly and chicago are all under major pressure to dump salary. they are playing the waiting game of trying to get teams desperate enough to bid each other up. will be an interesting week.

    and i still think ray will be traded (fingers crossed for iggy). mgt knows the current team can not go deep….if they don’t pull the trigger its an admission of defeat….and that just ain’t cool

  • Cptn Bubbles

    If this team were healthy I could see them being much more competitive. Let’s hope Danny has some discretion. He could try to force something & make things worse.

  • Jim MacIndoe

    I like the possibility of adding Kurt Hinrich to our bench. He would add some defense and take the pressure off of Eddy House. I do not know what it would take to make this deal but I feel the team needs to do something. I have faith in Danny Ainge. Our window with this team is closing fast.

  • Brett

    Are you guys serious with this post? “The problem is that none of those teams have a compelling enough reason to give up their young stars for nothing more than an expiring contract, and that’s really all the Celtics have to offer.

    Allen provides zero long-term gain for any potential trading partner, which is what Danny Ainge meant last week when he told The Big Show that the Celtics value him more than other teams do.”

    Please do a little actual research before simply quoting hack reporters. “Zero long-term gain?” How about being able to keep your franchise? Is that valuable? Because the Warriors owner is bleeding money and happens to owe the IRS a ton of cash. Washington is not financially sound. The Maloofs, while rich are overextended and want to move the franchise. Financial considerations are MORE important than talent. EVERY time to these franchises.

    The ONLY questions are: (A) are the Celtics willing to take on long-term money if it brings back good young talent, and (B) to what extent, and (C) how many other franchises are willing to do the same, and (D) do the franchises willing to take on long-term money have better assets than the Celtics, and finally (E) is there a financial and talent-need match?

    In this light, the way the money works, the Celtics have only a few competitors for the same deals. The Rockets and the Cavs have similar ability to offer expiring contracts and better (available) talent to offer in return. If those franchises want the same players and are willing to pay the price, the Celtics will lose out to them. Otherwise, the Wizards and the Warriors definitely and the Kings (maybe) would be willing to give away better talent in exchange for Ray and perhaps some young talent a la Big Baby or Walker or Giddens or a draft pick.

    To report that Ray’s contract carries no value is simply misinformed nonsense.

    My bet: Danny WILL get something done for Ray’s contract IF ownership is willing to take on long-term money. Danny has always viewed things in terms of assets and he will likely peddle some of the acquired pieces (Dalembert’s contract is an asset a year from now, Nocioni’s in two years, Maggette’s in two years) a year or two later for more talent. Keep in mind that cheap franchises will likely cut Ray, enabling him to come back to us.

    And please save me the upcoming “CBA” in which a hard cap will be installed preventing owners from taking on money or willing to deal a year from now. This won’t happen – it is Stern negotiating. He is taking a hard line approach despite the fact that players now have more opportunity to play overseas – and make money – than ever before while the owners are more financially fragile than at any time since the NBA/ABA merger. Simply put, the owners have less leverage than in years past and we have 18 months to go. This will not end as is currently reported.

    –Respectfully Submitted,

    Thinking for Himself

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @Brett: I believe you’re picking out Paul Flannery’s quote on WEEI re: Allen’s deal. Yes, financial relief is obviously important. Everyone knows that. But there are teams out there (such as Cleveland) who can offer both financial relief and something resembling a decent young player (Hickson). The C’s and Ray’s deal have to get in line behind those teams.

    As for the CBA, we all know STern’s negotiating. But the CBA will look different in some way in 2012.

  • Brett

    Zach,

    I agree. My main point is that I believe that there are more sellers than there are buyers directly competing with the Celtics. My money is on a trade with the Warriors along the lines of:

    Celtics giving: Ray Allen
    Celtics getting: Monta Ellis + Corey Maggette

    I actually anticipate a larger deal with potential additional Celtics moving along the lines of: Giddens, Walker, Rasheed (depending on long-term status of Nellie, Nellie would love someone of Sheed’s abilities), Scal, TA, maybe Baby.

    Celtics potentially getting: Anthony Randolph (out of favor with Nellie – teamed with C’s coaching and culture could grow into KG successor), Morrow (replacement for Ray if he is not cut), Ronny Turiaf (a mobile defensive-oriented Big).

    With a large deal including all of the above, the Warriors would rid themselves of two huge long-term contracts in Monta and Maggette while getting back some cheap young talent and the Celtics would get some young and valuable contributing assets. Our second unit would essentially become the Warriors and we would have depth at every position except PG. Coupled with a trade of expirings or Baby for DJ and we would have a stacked 1-10 for the cost of taking on long-term payroll.

    This deal does make sense for both sides IF Celtics ownership takes on long-term payroll and it is of the magnitude and specific-need nature that Houston and Cleveland would not pursue.

    My hope is something simpler along the lines of Iggy and Dalembert for Ray but I think we’ll have competition and reluctance to deal within conference. I would still be more than content with deal with W’s.

    Sorry for being rude, Zach. It sounds like we agreed more than I thought/wrote.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    @Brett: That’s just a ton of long-term $$ for the C’s take on, don’t you think? It’s a great deal, talent-wise, but the $$ makes me cautious.

  • Brett

    I actually don’t think it’s a lot of money – although it’s not mine to spend.

    If we take the largest possble trade the numbers look like this after this year:

    Celtics take on:

    Monta: 4 more years at $11 million/per
    Maggette: 3 more years at $10 mil/per
    Morrow: 0 years (although we may want to resign)
    Randolph: 1 year at $2 mil/per
    Turiaf: 1 year at $4.5 mil/per.
    Total for next year: $27.5 mil committed for 5 players.
    Total absolute contract terms: $80.4 million.

    Celtics Give Up:

    Ray Allen: 0 years at $19 million.
    Giddens: 0 years at $1 mil.
    Walker: 1 year at $1 mil.
    Rasheed: 2 years at $6 mil.
    Scal: 0 years at $3 mil.

    Total for next year: $7 million*
    * (Does not include 3 roster spots and alternative signings)
    Total absolute contract terms: $13 mil.

    Alternative 1 (Celtics do nothing) and re-sign everyone:
    Ray: $3 million – $ 6 million for 2010/11
    Giddens: $1 million – $ 2 million 2010/2011
    Walker: $1 mil for 2010/2011
    Rasheed: $ 6 mil for 2010/2011
    Scal: $ 1-3 mil for 2010/2011

    Total for next year: $12 – $18 million for status quo or worse.

    Remember, we cannot sign a free agent if we keep Ray, so there is No opportunity to improve other than MLE and draft, which will not be sufficient for Danny. The talent coming back and the opportunity to trade a more fungible contract ($10 mil is easier to pair) down the road limits the downside to ownership.

    Also, please consider the increase in revenue. If we last one more round of the playoffs each year for the next three years, assuming a marginal increase in revenue of $5 mil per home game (I think it’s probably more) then the trade almost pays for itself just on short-term revenue alone. I think the talent coming back would position us for the post-Big 3 era. Otherwise, it’s ’93-2006 all over again.

    Danny will not let that happen. Nor will “Banner 17″. Game on fellas. We’re going to make an awesome trade and have Ray come back and retire a Celtic.

    In Danny we Trust.

  • http://CelticsHub.com Zach Lowe

    No way anyone takes Sheed’s deal. That would absolutely floor me.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    sheed + ray = dalembert + iguodala

    hometown boy does good.

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