Post-game Reactions

In electing to let Tony Allen walk, Danny Ainge sent a clear signal that he has a plan for filling the wing spots behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen—spots that are empty right now. That plan could be unglamorous. Ainge could try to re-sign Marquis Daniels using the so-called non-Bird exception and lure someone like Antoine Wright or Damien Wilkins with a minimum contract.

The bolder and more difficult move would be to deal Rasheed Wallace’s $6.3 million contract to a team that could send Boston a wing player, buy Sheed out and save some cash. Every team likes saving money if it doesn’t cost much in talent, but the teams most motivated to make a money-saving deal are those over the luxury tax line or approaching it. Teams will do just about anything to get under the line (set at $70.3 million next season) or limit their dollar-for-dollar tax penalty.

The bad news: The tax line came in about $2 million higher than the league had anticipated, meaning a couple of potential trade partners—New Orleans and Philly, for instance—have a bit more room than they might have expected.

Still: Teams close to that line might want to shed some cash. Who are they? And do they have any wing players Boston might want?

• Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks will likely squeak past the tax line if they use their full mid-level exception. They are not going to give up Marvin Williams just to save money, but a combination of Mo Evans and Zaza Pachulia would work and fulfill a couple of needs for Boston. It’s unlikely for all the obvious reasons: It would leave Atlanta thin up front; the Hawks would prefer not to help another upper echelon Eastern team; and Evans’ contract expires after 2011, meaning the Hawks aren’t dying to get rid of it.

• Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are going for it all again in 2011, which means they’re probably not interested in dumping Caron Butler’s $10.6 million expiring contract for Rasheed Wallace and filler. They might be willing to send the C’s DeShawn Stevenson and Eddie Najera in exchange for Sheed, but those are end-of-the-rotation players who won’t be much help checking Dwyane Wade and LeBron in the playoffs.

There’s always Matt Carroll, right?

• Denver Nuggets. I have an irrational love for J.R. Smith, but Denver isn’t dealing Smith—their second-most explosive scorer—for nothing. No one else on Denver’s roster fits.

• Houston Rockets. The Rockets will tip-toe right to the edge of the tax line once they take care of Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson, and on the surface, Houston has wing players who would fit nicely in Boston were the Rockets motivated to deal them for Sheed.

Shane Battier’s getting old and the Rockets are stacked at the wing, but they value Battier’s leadership, and his expiring $7.1 million might be able to fetch more than Sheed and a draft pick.

Trevor Ariza? Houston’s not giving up on him now, not when the return of Yao and the acquisition of Kevin Martin push Ariza back into a more limited offensive role for which he is well-suited.

Jared Jeffries? No, thanks.

• Indiana Pacers. Another team that might look to cut costs even if they are on pace to come in (slightly) under the tax line. A combination of Dahntay Jones, Brandon Rush and Solomon Jones works and actually makes sense for both teams. The Pacers may still have hope for Rush, but they may not have minutes for him if their rookies (Paul George, Lance Stephenson) emerge quickly. And if we are to judge from a half-dozen meaningless summer league games, Lance Stephenson IS THE STEAL OF THE DRAFT OMG!!!!!!

Would the Pacers be willing to deal Mike Dunleavy Jr.’s $10.5 million expiring contract for Sheed and filler such as Daniels or Nate Robinson? No? What if you threw in a first-round pick in the mid-20s? Still a pipedream?


• Los Angeles Lakers. Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton both work straight-up for Sheed. Ha.

• New Orleans Hornets. New Orleans is set to squeeze just under the tax line after dealing Mo Peterson (and the 11th pick in the draft) to the Thunder in exchange for two lower picks. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Hornets won’t look to save money, if only to give themselves a bit of flexibility should they perform better than expected and seek to make a trade at the deadline.

And guess who works straight-up in a deal for Sheed? This guy:

Perhaps that photograph will inspire the sort of nostalgia that leads fans to overlook things like the fact that Posey looked awful last season.

A combination of Julian Wright and Darius Songaila would also work, but the Hornets aren’t likely to deal an expiring contract (Songaila) and a young player with something still resembling potential for nothing.

• Orlando Magic. Mickael Pietrus would be the perfect trade candidate in every way, except for the fact that Orlando is a championship contender and would rather light $5 million on fire than help Boston.

• Philadelphia 76ers. Another team that will sneak under the higher-than-expected tax line, but they’ll look to save some cash if they can. The team has said all the right things about valuing Andres Nocioni’s toughness, but that sort of toughness attached to an overpaid, mediocre player doesn’t look quite as good when you’ve got an opportunity to save $10 million over the next two seasons. A Sheed-for-Noc deal works straight up.

Jason Kapono also works, but he’s an expiring deal, so Philly doesn’t feel the same urgency to get rid of him as it might with Nocioni.

• San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs just signed Tiago Splitter away from Europe (terms undisclosed) and inked Matt Bonner to a deal that reportedly approaches $4 million per season. If they re-sign Richard Jefferson to a reasonable deal, they’ll be bumping up against the tax line.

So what about a money-saving sign-and-trade that would send Jefferson to Boston for Wallace and a second-round pick? The Spurs have Alonzo Gee on their summer league team, and the organization is watching to see if Gee or Malik Hairston might be able to give them Jefferson-level production at a fraction of the cost.

That’s it for the tax teams. There are of course potential trade partners outside of this group, and Ainge could arrange a three- or four-team deal for players not mentioned here. But if your target is a wing player on a team looking to shed salary now, these are the guys you’d be looking at.

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Zach Lowe

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  • Perry

    I won’t beat a dead horse because I know many of you don’t agree with my hypothesis. But since it is Bower who reached out for Quis we could see something develop with the Hornets in terms of a Quis s/t in conjunction with Sheed’s contract.

    NOH — $68m cap after Mo P. Fourth highest payroll in the NBA. Incoming ownership taking over a small market team. $100m owed to CP and Okafor over 4 years. 11 players including the rookies are signed.

    If there were ever a team looking for a salary dump it is the Hornets.

    The Wallace options:

    1- He comes back and plays.
    2- He retires and requests a buyout — Celts retain whatever is subtracted from the $6.3m, but the whole amount remains on their books.
    3- He files directly to the league and does not request a buyout, which wipes his $13m of the books. Unclear how they can use the money.
    4- His contract is traded. He retires from that team looking for cap relief.

    Would he retire if dealt to New Orleans? I say yes. Ergo the best way to lure an established player (s) in return is door #4.

    Possibly targets: Songaila $4.8m one year / Posey $14m over 2 years / West $15.5m over 3 years / Thornton $760k one year.

  • KB

    Dahntay Jones sounds like a great fit, I think Celtics tried to get him when he was leaving Denver a couple of seasons ago. Pietrus would also be a good fit but no way that’s happening.
    Kapono and Ariza sound good also but not very likely to happen.

  • Jeff

    Richardson would be nice but I don’t know if he’d come for $7,975,000 since that’s the most the Celtic’s can take back in a deal for Sheed.

    Also, how many years would he want and, would you really want to pay him that kind of $$$?!

    If he would come, be a good soldier for $5-6 mil for two years then I’d say go for it.

    He’s got talent, offensive game, playoff experience, athleticism, and might be at the point where he wants a ring. He’d definitely be a prime candidate for 6th man backing up PP. And he’d be good running the floor with Rondo, Nate and or Bradley.

    He might be the best option if they can lure him. Even if he costs more but you can get him for two years…I think you do it.

    I think Danny is willing to overpay in dollars but not commit more years than two if he can.

    I think that’s why TA is gone. It’s about the years, and setting up for the new CBA.

  • C2K

    Maybe he will bring Giddens back

    Second Bonus Non- D-League Monstar: J.R. Giddens, SF, Dallas Mavericks – Giddens was all over the place in a good way in this game, hitting outside shots (2-3) and using his athleticism to get steals and easy dunks. Giddens looked pretty comfortable throughout the game, which he should as a relative veteran, but given that he’s playing for a contract at this point it was nice to see him put everything together. He had a pretty amazing fall-away tip-in with 0.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

    Thought this guy had a good season for the Iowa Energy


    And Raymar Morgan off the Wiz



  • Jay P

    Nocioni intrigues me, and I LOVE the Posey idea.

    I don’t care if he looked bad last year, he was asked to do way to much for NO. Similar to Ariza in Houston, these guys need to be limited role guys, and will thrive in those situations. Ask them to do more, and it will go badly.

    Posey could settle right back into that role he had in Boston, and would definitely be a clear upgrade over TA. His contract also expires in 2 years with Ray and KG, that is a perfect scenario for me. I would be absolutely thrilled in Ainge pulled that off.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    of the ones with any likelihood to happen….battier, wright and niocioni are interesting.

  • One thing people need to get out of their heads immediately is the idea that New Orleans has any interest at all in dealing Marcus Thornton. The guy averaged 20 per game over a long stretch last season, and he’s on a super-cheap rookie deal. There is just no way NO is trading him.

  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    isn’t barnes the obvious target now that Q is in orlando ??

  • al

    dahtay jones has 3 yrs left on his deal, and if danny wanted someone at 3 yrs, he would kept TA. Same goes for Ariza, his contract is too long.

    The obvious targets are Nocioni and Posey. Posey is interesting because he’s proven and his team is more likely to throw in a draft pick to move his contract.

    Also unknown, but fun to play with is to combine sheed’s contract with a s&t scalabrine to the mix, a la keith van horn a couple of years ago. Say sheed and scal at 1yr 3 million traded for a 10 million dollar player?

  • Evan

    What about Golden State as another option? If we throw in Sheed + Lafayette and Gaffney we could get Monta Ellis due to Sheed’s trade kicker that increases the value of his contract. We’d probably have to throw in a 1st but I think they would be happy to get out of Ellis’ contract.

  • @Evan: I was looking at wing players only. That is the team’s biggest need, particularly if Nate Robinson re-signs.

  • ElRoz

    Thanks for this article, I don’t feel as desperate anymore.

    Would LOVE to have either Posey or Pietrus as shooters and defenders. If Danny could make that happen – the Celtic’s will have a better offensive bench next season without loosing out on defense – with Bradley and Pietrus/Posey there.

    Nocioni wuld be a good shooter off the bench too.

    Go Danny!

  • Sophomore

    Based on what I know now I’d say Battier or (more likely available) Posey. We need a guy who can spend at least some time on the floor with Rondo – when PP or RA are hurt or in foul trouble – and for that role somebody with an outside shot would be useful.

    Jefferson is intriguing, but only if we can figure out what went wrong for him in SA and make sure he isn’t in some kind of career-ending fade.

    Brandon Rush’s stat line makes him very interesting, but I don’t know much more about him than that.

  • How about Jared Dudley?

    Suns are stacked at the positions with HEdo, J-Rich, Grant Hill, and Warrick. He’s a BC guy and looked great in the playoffs. Smart player, High Energy, hit the three at 42% in post season. Maybe Sheed’s contract and a future pick would be enough. A third team would need to be involved to make the money work. So it is probably unlikely.

  • SouthernCeltic

    Battier would seem to be a great fit. Gritty defender, high basketball IQ, good passer and very nice outside shooter, he can play 3 nicely, 2 above average. It also seems HOU doesn’t really need him anymore. Imagine he and ray on offense or he and pierce on defense either combo could give opposing teams fits.

  • Coolin

    Wow, it is looking like we are screwed BIG Time. Why didn’t Ainge give Kwame a little contract instead of J.O. and go after a wing that can score? Who the hell is going to score from this position besides the starters?

    T-Mac is a must no matter what joker we end up getting.

  • al


    What would the C’s have to offer for dudley? a late 1st rounder? Futhermore, why would the suns trade a good player under a rookie contract? Grant Hill is ancient, Warrick plays PF, and JRich is a SG. No chance in hell that the suns think of moving him.

  • Derek

    I don’t see why San Antonio would do that Jefferson move unless you think it’s just for the second round pick. If they dont want Jefferson then they just let him go as he is a free agent and there are no financial obligations

  • Evan

    @ Zach I think you could have Ellis play some 2. Him and Rondo would be a menace on the break. I guess it would leave us without a backup at the 3 for PP.

  • rob

    Danny must have a plan in place to get someone better than TA. Do you really think he would let the teams best individual defender go without a sure fire plan?

    These are unlikely but would make the team better

    1. Some sort of trade to acquire david west and trading baby i love him but i like david west better

    2. I like that trade with battier he can stretch the floor and play great defense

    if danny could get those two deals done i would forget all about TA

  • Keith Popsicle

    The Jones-Rush-Solomon (what is this, a law firm?) deal seems to work the best of these options. Lots of pieces, guys with some skills, (you really just need some bodies to work into the system), spell Pierce and Allen with quality minutes, etc. A little rejuvenation coming from Indiana purgatory to a contender. A little good will from The Legend to Danny? I say yes.

  • NHBluesMan

    i’d love to get Posey back. He would deff thrive in a supporting role, and he’s got the length and defensive tenacity to both guys like LeBron and Kobe… its too bad that we couldn’t hang on to TA… with him and Posey, we could have some lock-down defense to throw at the Miami MyEgos… oh sorry… the Heat

  • No chance of either Battier or Pietrus coming to Boston. Like Zach said, no way Orlando helps Boston get better by handing them Pietrus.

    And Shane is a key component to Houston’s plans to bounce back this year with a healthy Yao.

    Houston is going to match Scola and Lowry if anyone tries to throw an offer their way and they’d sooner unload Budinger then trade Battier right now.

  • Perry

    …Posey’s numbers although slightly down last year remain pretty consistent over the past 4. Didn’t play as many minutes, and of course no CP for the second half of the season. It’s a seamless transition in terms of the contract and addressing a specific need. Of course, the Celts need another big.

    Most of these guys mentioned give me reason to pause. Aside from Battier and Pietrus, who is capable of playing championship caliber ball?

  • @rob…

    “Danny must have a plan in place to get someone better than TA. Do you really think he would let the teams best individual defender go without a sure fire plan?”

    What if Danny’s plan is that he refuses to extend beyond two years of commitment with this group of players except for PP and RR?

    That if he has to risk something, he’d rather take a little more risk with the present circumstances and the subsequent year, then he would with the future of the franchise.

    The Perkins situation already casts some serious doubt on just how far the Celtics can go next year if his recovery means he can’t make a full contribution beginning next spring, which is very possible.

    Maybe Danny’s plan is to give next year and the year after’s team a fighting chance to get back to the Finals but don’t over commit resources in that direction.

    Maybe the plan is to wait and see what develops with this crew.

    Maybe they have another mediocre regular season only this time they can’t raise their post season performance or sneak up on anyone like they did this year.

    Maybe Danny wants to see if they have enough gas in the tank for another serious push to a title first.

    If they do, he can always add a player leading up to the trade deadline.

    If they don’t, he could begin to lay the groundwork for the future, by making some moves following next season as opposed to waiting unil the year after to get started.

  • Ivan

    Last Year I was pushing for the Cs to reaquire James Posey. If he is available i think he makes the most sense.

  • ed judson

    Any merit to a s&t w/Memphis for Ronnie Brewer?

  • Tom

    I still think Ainge should have gone after Biedrins and keep the MLE for a wing player instead of Jermaine.

  • Shane

    The Suns i feel could use Rasheeds talents on the floor he can spread the floor play C or PF and play some tough D… And all that is if he doesnt retire and wants to put in the effort

  • Michael

    I love Posey!! I thought he could have helped us in 2009, but Jefferson would be great off the bench to!

  • Perry

    Celts in the mix and will be watching Adam Morrison’s workout today.

  • Perry

    Now that Dampier has bee traded to the Bobcats there’s little doubt he will be waived. Also little doubt no team will claim his $13m salary over the next 10 days. Interesting to see if he would reach out to the Celts for the vet. minimum.

  • dino radja

    What’s the odds of bringing Sheed back around playoff time if we trade him and he’s cut? Ala big Z with Cleveland

  • Keith Popsicle

    All the conjecture aside, isn’t the most amazing thing about this whole story the fact that Mr. “CTC” himself is unselfishly passing up guranteed millions by retiring, in the interest of helping his team? A true testimonial to ‘Sheed’s true character, in my opinion.

    Now he can move on to his destined career behind the mic in the TNT studio next to Kenny and Charles!

  • Wendell

    The C’s need 2 make a move badly. The Bucks r stacked @ the wing try 2 get Chris Douglas Roberts or Josh Boone who is a free agent he’s a big man n would come on the cheap like Juwan Howard n Stackhouse. The Move with Atlanta or Indiana would be the best move. the C’s need draft picks 4 the future 2 help them build 4 life after the Big 3. N they need 2 try n get something from Memphis 4 Tony Allen a trade excpetion do something.

  • JA

    couple thing of news. Big Z is going to Miami and Big Al is going to UTAH

  • Nick

    Man i would love to see Marvin Williams traded for with ‘Sheed’s expiring contract.

  • dslack


    You’re mistaken about the trade kicker helping. The rule is that the Celtics cannot accept back more than 125% + $100,000 of the salary that they send away. The player with the trade kicker counts just as his actual salary for the team trading him away (that’s the only amount of money that they are actually vacating from their books by trading the guy). It’s true that he counts for more money to the team accepting the player, but that doesn’t affect the fact that for the Celtics, he only counts as $6.3M, and they can only take back 125% of that, plus $100,000.

  • dslack

    Regarding Tony Allen —

    I don’t understand why Danny didn’t counter with a 2-year, $10M offer, or even a 2-year, $12M offer (to compensate for the possibility that the second season is lost to the lockout). I guess luxury tax concerns from ownership?

  • Jay P


    He may have tried, but I’m guessing he’d of had a hard time convincing Wyc that Tony Allen is worth paying 10-12 million for for the next 2 years (you have to double his salary, since they pay dollar for dollar over the cap, so they’d pay 5 to him, 5 to the league for the next two years if they offered him 2/10mil.)

    Wyc has been pretty generous when it comes to ponying up the cash, but that’s pushing it.

  • Sophomore

    @Perry – “Celts in the mix and will be watching Adam Morrison’s workout today.”

    For $1 mill. – less than Adam Morristache would cost – I can sit on the end of the bench and cheer *at least* as well. Probably better.

  • Arvin

    What about just picking up Matt Barnes? He could spell Pierce and plays great defense. He doesn’t have a 3 point shot, but I love his tenacity. He would be better than most of Zach’s suggestions (Posey is not the player he once was!)

  • Shooter

    Suns wouldn’t trade Dudley.Gentry likes to go small where he uses Dudley at the 4,so they really don’t have a log jam at the 3.
    BRADLEY IS OUR GUY…..OK.We still need a back up for PP,but Bradley made TA expendable.

  • Jeff

    I also had the thought of the S&T for Brewer!

    Does anyone know if that may be the thing keepin the contract held up for TA? Does TA have some good will toward the C’s and wants a S&T deal to help the C’s acquire Brewer as a replacement?

    It would be nice! They’d both comand about the same market. TA=better D Brewer=more length and scoring.

    I’d definitely take Brewer, he’d be a great addition to the bench and he’s young and gritty!

    If I’m Danny though I think I see the market trending downward, knowing that some of these guys who saw the first few days of frenzies and expected FAT deals to come their way, are now left holding the pot, and may have to come back to a second or third option, moneywise.

    Possibilities still available:

    Josh Howard
    Rasual Butler
    Antoine Wright
    And probably some that I’m forgetting, but S&T on Sheed’s deal with some 2nd rounders or even a future first, like Sheed and a 1st for J Rich and a 2nd would be a decent trade. We could sign him 3 years with an option on the 3rd at around $7mil. He’d get the chance at a ring, or same kind of deal for Howard with Washington.

    Whatever it is, I’m sure Danny’s got something cooked up to be in the best chance to compete this year while maintaining the future. If they give a 1st in a trade, I think it needs to be next years, that way the possible lockout could absorb the loss of a pick, or in the future, like 2013 or 2014. Maybe even throw in a second another year to push the deal for the future first round pick.

  • Shooter

    I agree,Posey isn’t the same player anymore.I’ve seen him play in NO and he doesn’t have the defensive abilities he used to anymore.

  • Perry


    Unless they match Wes Matthews to Portland, Brewer will sign with the Jazz.

    I think Danny let one get away here, but you can’t fault him for using the MLE on JO.

  • Perry

    For what it’s worth Forsberg tweeted about Ray Allen reaching out to free agents today.

  • Shooter

    I don’t understand you’re infatuation with JR Smith,honestly.

  • Shooter

    And someone said it on here about Jones contract wouldn’t work with Danny’s plans, so take Indiana out of the equation.

  • legs-diamond

    T Allen staunched their defense and added energy on offense; I can’t see, with all this speculation, who will be able to play the 2 and 3 spots so well in a support role.

    Daniels had a mis-step last year. Can he finally be the player C’s were looking for last season?

    And still the C’s need a center! Can Sheed … get back in shape, for one year?

  • Jeff


    I agree that he had to do what he had to do on the JO for full MLE.

    He is clearly not willing to commit more than 2 years to anyone other than Rondo and PP right now, even if it means overpaying guys for 2 years to not take on a 3rd.

    He will work something at the wing though. Probably resign Quis and get someone else for cheap, or trade Sheed.

    I’d like to see them trade Sheed and have him come back midseason for a min after some rest for his back.

    He’d be worth it in the playoffs…no doubt!

  • Sw

    Here is one idea that really hasn’t been floated out there too much. Why not hold onto Wallace and tell him not to file his papers. He would eat up a roster spot but if nothing is great trade wise out there now maybe as the season progresses something will come up and a team will be looking to move a contract. They could trade for Rasheed and buy him out saving money.

    The risk for the C’s is that a deal never materializes and we just paid Rasheed Wallace to do nothing but sit at home. However if Wyc was ok with it his contract could come in handy later in the season.

  • Jeff


    That thought had floated through my mind also, and if Wyc is good with it and there are no better options, then I’d say do it!

    Maybe resign Quis to hold over, then see what develops. There may be some intruiging options available at the deadline, and Sheed in a package with some other under acheiver on an expiring deal might be worth a look for someone who was looking to sell off someone with a 2 year deal, which would fit perfect for Danny’s plan anyways.

    By the deadline, teams like Philly, GS, LAC, MEM, NO, TOR, will all be out of the race and looking to dump! Maybe Danny thought of that as well.

  • Shooter

    I wouldn’t say Philly are out of the race yet,way to premature to predict that.The off season isn’t over yet.

  • Carlos Animals

    What about a sign and trade with Orlando for Matt Barnes?

  • I love Green

    I like Dirty Tay Jones. He’d be great to play for the Celtics, just adding to our bully list.

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