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Realistic Celtics Trade Targets: The Expiring Contracts

 

So the C’s are looking for a small forward. It’s no secret. Everyone from Doc Rivers, to Danny Ainge have freely admitted it. We’ve heard a lot of names thrown around. I shot down a number of them on Sunday for various reasons, while floating out by own list of candidates.

With the deadline just two days away, it’s time to take a look at some realistic names. Some have already been brought up in trade rumors, other have not. What do they all have in common? They’re all expiring contracts, which is really the only kind of player Ainge will be looking to deal for, the reasons of which I explained in this column from last week which I strongly encourage you to check out if you haven’t already.

For now though, it’s time to dig deep into these names. Which players could actually help Boston? What’s their price tag? Which players is most likely to come to Boston? I explore the names and all the scenarios in this piece.

Celtics Trade Assets
Nate Robinson makes $4.2 million, has 1 year remaining at $4.5 million
Avery Bradley makes $1.4 mil in 1st year of 4 year deal
Luke Harangody makes $500k in 1st year of 2 year deal
Semih Erden makes $500k in 1st year of 2 year deal
1st round pick/2nd round pick (Ainge really values draft picks so unlikely he will deal a 1st round pick unless for a serious upgrade)

For Salary Matching Purposes

Marquis Daniels make 2.4 million and could be dealt with some cash to another team to match salaries

Robinson and Daniels are the two pieces that Ainge is most likely to deal in my estimation. Harangody is next, but he’s not of much value to anyone else, plus C’s could still use him for depth purposes. Erden is also still needed with both O’Neals on the shelf. Bradley is a 20-year-old with a very manageable contract. Good cheap labor is valued on this team so he may be untouchable, and if not will only be dealt for a significant upgrade. Now let’s explore some names.

Jamario Moon: age:30 height: 6-8
10-11 Salary: 3 million
4.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 10mpg
39.6% FG, 26.7% 3pt FG

Moon and Rasual Butler could be the most realistic targets on this list. The problem for both is they are somewhat flawed players. We’re pretty well acquainted with Moon around here after facing the Cavs several times the past couple years. The fourth year veteran is extremely athletic and and a plus defender. He’s a subpar shooter, but he has shown flashes of consistency from the outside over the course of his career (32 percent career three-point shooter). If you’re Ainge this is a guy you go after, if you’re looking for size and defense as opposed to anything on the offensive end, which would come as a bonus.

Besides his shooting issues, he’s a great finisher around the hoop (76 percent at the rim…..hello Rondo alley-oops!) but doesn’t have the handle or skills to penetrate enough to get there (just 0.8 shots at rim per game). His mid-range shot is surprisingly stellar (48 percent with 1.3 attempts per game), yet he’s missing two-thirds of his shots from beyond the arc.

What It Would Take for C’s to deal for Moon: Marquis Daniels (matching salary), cash, maybe a draft pick?

Likelihood Of Deal Happening: Certainly one of more realistic scenarios, but depends if Moon is part of Cavs future plans, a la Anthony Parker. Ainge also wouldn’t deal a 1st rounder for him, so Cavs trade demands would have to be on lower end.

Anthony Parker: age 35 height 6-6
10-11 salary: 2.8 million
FG: 40%, 3pt FG: 39.8%
8.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.9 apg

Parker would undoubtedly be a terrific fit for the C’s and biggest upgrade this team has made to their roster in-season, since bringing P.J. Brown aboard during the championship run. He can shoot the rock (40 percent career three-point shooter), can play Ray Allenesque solid defense and has the size to play the three.

The problem? The Cavs understandably like him and won’t give him away. They also aren’t big spenders this year (just 53 million total salary for roster) and Dan Gilbert has big pockets so they won’t be looking to shed salary for easy cash with a player like Parker, as ESPN’s Marc Stein recently reported.

They’ll want something of value, and it’s not clear if the C’s have want they want. Nate Robinson at 4.5 million for next year isn’t enticing. Erden has promise, but he may not be enough (if C’s are willing to deal him) if the Cavs want to bring back Parker. The endgame here may be whether Parker has an interest in staying in Cleveland long term. If that’s a yes, then C’s are out. If he informs Cleveland he won’t be coming back, this could get interesting. It’s a possible but certainly not probable scenario.

What It Will Take To Deal For Parker: A 1st Round Pick, Daniels, cash and potentially Erden? (Though Ainge may not be willing to do both a pick and Erden)

Likelihood of Deal Happening: Unlikely, but still one of more realistic targets on this list.

Rasual Butler: age 31, height 6-7
10-11 salary: 2.4 million
FG: 32%, 3pt FG: 31% (36% career)
5.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.7 apg

For my money right now, this is probably the guy the C’s are most likely to deal for. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but just more of a sign of the tough situation Danny Ainge is in. Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports (who has terrific C’s connections) reported the C’s were one of the teams, that had interest in the 31-year-old last week, who has been out of Vinny Del Negro’s rotation for the better part of the past two months. Why? Well there’s a lot of young studs in Clipperland and Butler’s hadn’t been doing his job (shooting) sufficiently.

Curious to hear more, I talked to ClipperBlog’s Jordan Heimer for more information on what went wrong with Rasual this year and whether he could fit here:

Rasual lost his spot in the rotation early on in the season because, basically, he was a one tool player who lost his one tool. The guy has always been a minus defender, ball handler, and passer (a triple threat!), who could make just under 40% of his threes. Except this year, he hasn’t even been able to do that. How bad has he been? With Eric Gordon down, and the Clips backcourt depth paper-thin, Rasual is STILL getting DNP-CD every night. Vinny Del Negro gave him four games to prove he belonged back in the rotation and Rasual responded by making two jumpers in four games. Put it this way — a fellow Clips fan and I spent twenty minutes yesterday debating whether or not Rasual could get minutes in the Greek league. So basically… yeah, you don’t want this guy.

Ouch. Don’t let that get you down C’s fans. This is the same team that has brought in Michael Finley, Stephon Marbury, and Mikki Moore over the past two years so is a review like that going to scare me away? No way.

The truth is Butler is realistic since his contract is manageable (2.4 million), he probably won’t cost more than Daniels, some cash and maybe a 2nd round pick. Plus, he did at one point show the ability to shoot. He’s trended downwards the past two years playing for two inept offensive coaches in Mike Dunleavy and Vinny Del Negro.

A coach like Doc Rivers can probably get the best out of him, or find out pretty quickly whether there’s anything left. He did hit 39 percent from downtown just two years ago in New Orleans on his last good team. Could he do something like 36-37 percent in Boston? I don’t think it’s out of the question. I wouldn’t love a deal for Butler, but it’s certainly better than doing nothing at all and the price would be right.

What it would take to deal for Butler:
Daniels (matching salaries), cash (Since Sterling is cheap), maybe a 2nd round pick

Likelihood of deal getting done for Butler: Best chance of any name on this list.

Shane Battier: Age 32, Height 6-7
2010-11 Salary: 7.3 million dollars
8.4ppg, 4.8 rbg, 2.5 apg, 30 mpg
44%FG, 37.6% 3pt FG,

The C’s don’t have enough assets they are willing to give up to get him on their own, but since he’d be such a perfect fit for this team, we’ll throw him on here anyway. The Rockets are five games out of the final playoff spot in the west and a couple million dollars over the luxury tax, so chances are Daryl Morey will be doing some dealing this week and Battier’s name could be in the fold. We’ve already heard a report of interest from Marc Stein, and Chris Mannix of SI, rebuffing the report from the Rockets end.

The problem for the C’s is there isn’t enough on this roster to get a deal done as Ryan told you last night. Even if Ainge threw together a monster offer of Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley/Semih Erden, a 1st round pick and other filler to make the numbers work, it’s unclear just how interested the Rockets would be.

They are pretty set at the guard spot for the future with Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, and Kevin Martin locked up long term, so Nate and Avery probably aren’t too appealing to the Rockets. And that’s a lot to give up on the C’s side of things too for just a rental, albeit a very valuable one. Put it all together and there are too many obstacles on both sides. Battier may go somewhere, it won’t be Beantown.

Chance of deal getting done: 0.1 percent

Josh Howard: age 30, height 6-7
10-11 salary: 3 million
FG: 33%, 3pt FG: 28.6% (33% career)
8.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.9 apg

Like Battier, you can throw this one in the pipe dream department, although it may be slightly more realistic than any deal for Battier. Howard has played just 10 games this year for the Wizards due to recurring knee problems from a torn ACL suffered at the end of last season. That injury history right there is probably enough to keep the C’s away, since the last thing they need right now is another guy with major health question marks.

Nonetheless, Howard did play the last two games before break and looks relatively healthy, posting 16 points in 25 minutes during the first game in his return. He provides some size, defense and rebounding, while also having the offensive skills to establish a scoring punch of the bench.

The Wizards know all this though, which makes them very hesitant to give him up. He shouldn’t cost big money this offseason, so the team will probably want to bring him back for another go around. Thus it will take a fair amount to make Washington give him up. The Wizards are pretty set in the backcourt with that John Wall guy so Bradley or Nate won’t be enticing. Could Semih Erden be enough along with Daniels and a 1st round pick? Not for an establish pro like Howard….and that may be too much to give up for a guy with injury concerns anyway.

What Would It Take To Deal for Howard? Multiple picks, Semih Erden, cash, and Marquis Daniels. That’s probably too much for Danny’s taste.

Likelihood of Deal Happening for Howard: Very small.

So there’s your list folks. There’s a few other names that have been thrown around (Roger Mason Jr., Dhantay Jones, etc.) and we’ll get to those shortly, but to me, the guy on this list are the most likely targets for Boston. Here’s how I order the likelihood of C’s dealing for said players.

1) Butler
2) Moon
3) Parker
4) Howard
999) Battier (not happening)

We’ll take a quick look at some trade possibilities that aren’t on expiring contracts this afternoon.

  • lakershater13

    Any chance Carl Landry is available with his expiring contract? If so maybe a 3 team deal that we could trade for Battier and Landry. We could give up Davis is we are getting a PF back that could easily replace Davis.

    • brobb7

      Landry is probably available, but not for the assets the C's are willing to deal. Filling the 3 right now is the biggest priority and Landry doesn't help there anyway. He's also a free agent at the end of this year, so dealing for him and getting rid of Davis is a sideways/backwards step if nothing else.

  • Zee

    Hate to say it, but I think Nate may be signing marching papers this week. I don't see the C's parting with anyone else, unless they also trade Erden for another equal big as part of some packaged deal.

    • Zee

      I didn't mention Daniels because he would be a trade liability. Who would want him with his health issues?

      • brobb7

        Marquis would be dealt strictly for salary matching purposes with some cash attached (up to 3 million). He obviously wouldn't even play or probably even report to the team he was dealt to, but the C's need to make any trade work under salary figures, and with a full roster, Daniels is most likely candidate to make it work.

  • http://twitter.com/JdotD @JdotD

    Why do we want Anthony Parker?!
    He's a pure Guard, a 2 who can play PG, not a swingman, He doesn't have "size to play 3" at all.
    He's VERY similar to Delonte West, and there is no way Delonte is playing 3.
    He's a good player, but not what we need at all…

    • keltic

      He is undersized at the 3 but he is in no way comparable to Delonte West regarding the positions they play. At this point I think he may be the best option when it comes to not giving up too much. Marquis is 6'6 200lbs, Parker 6'6 215lbs…not the same player but Parker can defend and spread the floor.

      • Robert

        Exactly, I'm not sure where the point guard part is coming from. Parker isn't a creator in Cleveland's offense – he's a wing. As keltic pointed out, he's just about the same size as Marquis and he's got decent length.

    • brobb7

      Delonte may not play the 3, but defensively the team is comfortable with him guarding select 3's, I've had sources in the orgainization tell me. He's a very feisty and physical defender. Obviously can't handle guys like LeBron, but then again who out of these candidates could? Parker is 6-6, which is enough size to fill the need. He's not as good as Marquis defensively, but it's better than nothing.

      • keltic

        Agree, West can stay with most back up and some starting 3s in the league. I'm more concerned with having someone other then just Ray and Paul stay with the premier 3s (which now includes Melo!!) come playoff time.

    • CG12

      repeating this over and over again doesn't make it true. Parker is significantly bigger than Delonte. Parker =6'6", West = 6'3". I'm not sure why you think Parker is a 1/2, but you are simply wrong.

  • Banner18

    Why would Danny value an extremely low first round pick so highly? Its 95% certain that Battier is better than anyone he could find at that draft spot. If you were Houton, would you really turn down Nate, Quis, Bradley and a first round pick for Battier who can walk at the end if the season? They might even take less: Nate, Quis, Luke and a first round. As an added advantage for the C's, if they do a 2 for 1 trade or a 3 for 2, they can go out after the deadline and pick up another Big and/or backup point.
    Battier is such a perfect fit, Danny should find a way to make I happen. Battier would also ease the transition to the post big 3 era, and make it more likely that the C's could sign a big name free agent in the future like Howard.
    Go Danny-Go!

    • CsFanInArkansas

      Battier may be a perfect fit for Boston, but nothing Boston has is a perfect fit for Houston. They've got plenty of guards – better than Nate and Avery and Quisy. What they really need is to add some bigs.

      As much as we might think Battier's the perfect solution in Boston, all we can really offer them that they don't already have is Gody/Semih and draft picks…and it doesn't look like we're in a position to get rid of Semih…so that leaves Gody and draft picks – low draft picks…for a big name like Battier…

      Not gonna happen.

  • Chris

    What is the real likelihood that the C's can trade Marquis? He has the right to block any trade and, considering the seriousness of his injury, it would be doubtful that he would agree to a trade to a different team's medical staff at this point.

    Realistically, the only Celtic who could be dealt without disrupting the rotation/chemistry is Nate. So what is Nate's value, given the fact that he's on the books for another year at 4.5mm?

    • kricky

      Quis seems like a good enough guy that he would want to help the team out if he can't play. Plus I am sure they would find a way to sweeten his deal one way or another.

  • Tim

    Think you need to get Dahntay Jones on here. He makes a lot of sense and could be had at a limited price.

    • brobb7

      You're right, but he's not an expiring deal. We'll cover him later tonight/tomorrow.

  • jack

    Why don't we apply for the injury exception for Marquis and JO? Wouldn't that help us in these trades, or if some try to get someone who gets bought out?

    • Dropstep

      The deadline for injury exceptions has already passed. Not even Dallas would have been able to get one when Caron Butler went down. If the C's were to get an injury exception, I think they would have to have proof that the player would not be returning next season…as the injury exception would only be granted for the rest of this season if the player would be out for all of the next one.

  • BBynum

    How about this trade: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId

    Celtics and/or Dallas might need to throw in picks, but if they did it seems to make sense for everyone.

    Dallas: Has long coveted S-Jack and needs his defense and and versatile offensive game to replace Butler after injury. S-Jack has locked down Kobe in the past and he would be very valuable in a head-to-head series with Lakers. Cuban is one of few owners willing to take on 3 years of Jackson's contract in exchange for an expiring one as long as it helps team in short term. This certainly would. They would need to take on Marquis to make it work.

    • Batman

      That is just robbing Charlotte

      • BBynum

        "Cavaliers interested in Gerald Wallace?
        February, 23, 2011 Feb 2310:36AM ETEmail Print Comments By Chad Ford
        Archive The Charlotte Bobcats seem intent on moving Gerald Wallace to a new team by the Thursday deadline and have aggressively courted the Mavericks, Rockets, Clippers, Pacers and Cavs. The asking price has been an expiring contract and a protected first-round pick.

        So far they've been unable to get a team to bite, though there have been rumblings Wednesday morning that the Cavs may use their $14.5 million trade exception generated in the LeBron James sign-and-trade this summer to land Wallace by the deadline. "

        Hmmm…an expiring deal, a first round pick, and a rumor of Dallas being involved. Yeah I guess I was WAY off huh?

    • lakershater13

      What are you assuming the GM for Charlotte is smoking? They give away Jackson and Wallace to get back J Oneal (injured for a while), Bradley ( they would pray he becomes an allstar by the end of the season in this deal), and Butler( a guy you will not see until the last week of season and then he is a free agent). I love the deal for the Celtics and for Dallas but I dont see Charlotte ever doing this trade. The picks from boston and dallas would be late in the first round and danny doesnt like giving up picks.

      • BBynum

        Cavaliers interested in Gerald Wallace?
        February, 23, 2011 Feb 2310:36AM ETEmail Print Comments By Chad Ford
        Archive The Charlotte Bobcats seem intent on moving Gerald Wallace to a new team by the Thursday deadline and have aggressively courted the Mavericks, Rockets, Clippers, Pacers and Cavs. The asking price has been an expiring contract and a protected first-round pick.

        So far they've been unable to get a team to bite, though there have been rumblings Wednesday morning that the Cavs may use their $14.5 million trade exception generated in the LeBron James sign-and-trade this summer to land Wallace by the deadline.

  • BBynum

    Celtics: No explanation needed really. An athletic, very good defending SF who can occasionally shoot the three and would prove menacing with his steals and shot-blocking in Boston's team defense in exchange for two worthless pieces (Daniels and J. O'Neal) plus Bradley and a 1st-round pick? True, Danny loves his picks, but Wallace's contract fits in with Danny's timeframe to compete and most of our Eastern competition – Miami and NYK – have given away far more valuable picks as well. Our window is now, and Wallace would be invaluable as Paul/Ray's backup this year and next.

  • BBynum

    Charlotte: Michael is restless and rumored to be wanting to save money and start over. If they can pry 1st rounders out of Boston and Dallas and get back some young talent – I think numbers work with Semih added or replacing Bradley – then Charlotte gets out from S-Jack's contract and can start fresh. My only question for this trade is whether Charlotte can get more value for these two guys. If not, I don't see Dallas or Boston saying no.

    Thoughts?

    • jack

      Looks great from a Boston standpoint.

      Thanks for the explanation dropstep

  • Chris

    Quis can block a trade because he's a Bird free agent working on a 1 year deal. It's the same situation that Devean George was in when Dallas made the Jason Kidd trade.

  • big3
    • nblaze

      I like the players involved, but Troy Murphy is headed to Oakland and will be bought out. I think the C's need to think about bringing him in since it looks like neither O'Neal might play again.

      I like this trade: C's toss in a 2nd. Maybe use cash instead of Wafer. Phoenix is 4 games out of playoffs, and Hill would be perfect coming off the bench for us. http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId

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