The official confirmation went down about 30 minutes ago according to The Boston Herald. Both sides are just now waiting on league approval. As expected, the deal has The Celtics sending Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens and Eddie House to the New York Knicks for guard Nate Robinson and forward Marcus Landry. Still no word on when Landry/Robinson are expected to join the team. The said deal also works with the salaries, thanks to a couple C’s trade exceptions they had lined up from last year in dealing away Sam Cassell and Patrick O’Bryant at the deadline.
Other item of note from The Herald piece is exactly how many teams the C’s talked to about dealing Ray. The list was quite extensive:
A team source said that the Cs looked into acquiring Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire, for instance. Management also looked into possible trades for Utah’s Carlos Boozer, Miami’s Michael Beasley, Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala and Golden State’s Monta Ellis.
Quick Analysis: A lot of Celtics fans are going to be disappointed that this is the only deal the C’s have made at the deadline, considering the number of other deals that went down around the league. The truth is, Danny Ainge hands were tied, given the team’s salary concerns for next year (63 million committed to just 6 players) making it tough for the team to absorb any bad contract that would be required in return for receiving any “impact” player the C’s were looking for, as seen in the excerpt above.
The C’s had plenty of expiring contracts to deal besides Ray Allen, but all of those guys were either a) lacking talent that would make them appealing to other teams (Giddens, Walker, Scalabrine, Williams) b) important parts of the team’s rotation (Daniels, TA, House)
So what did Danny come up with? He managed to flip a great shooter who does little to nothing else well in Eddie House, along with some filler, for Nate Robinson, a younger more athletic version of Eddie House. He isn’t afraid to shoot, he can drive to the hoop as well as any guard in the league, and he provides Doc with a very explosive late game guard option.
Make no mistake, the Celtics main problem lately has been on the offensive end, primarily with the starters. There have been a lot of problems lately with specific players, but one thing is clear: When Rajon Rondo isn’t attacking, this team’s offense stalls in the 2nd half. Instead of counting on Rondo down the stretch, Danny gave Doc an alternative here in Robinson. Someone who, like Eddie, isn’t afraid to take the big shot, but also is much more multi-dimensional than Eddie i.e. someone who can do more than just shoot. Eddie couldn’t defend quicker guards, making him a liability late in games. Nate can at least hold his own defending, as well as penetrate to the basket with authority.
All in all, given the hand Ainge was dealt, he did the best he could. In adding Robinson, he makes a clear upgrade, while not damaging the team’s future prospects at all, at least financially or by giving up future draft picks. Eddie is 31 and likely would have been gone after this year anyway, and although Bill Walker has shown flashes, if they want him after this year for a minimum deal, the team probably could get him back anyway.
In the meantime, be sure to watch how Rajon Rondo responds to this deal. Doc has never been afraid to bench Rondo late in games for Eddie if the young guard is playing tentative and now he has a better alternative to Eddie in Robinson. If Rajon does not respond well, we could see a lot of Nate in crunch time with the C’s, which could be a very good or bad thing. Time will only tell.
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