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Sully and Bradley: Boston’s Future or Future Trade Bait?

 


I have to admit to some confusion about which path I want the Celtics to pursue.

The recent play of Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger has been a brilliant left turn after the depressing road through the first two months of the season. I’d be hard-pressed to pick which of the two I favor. Sullinger’s breakout game against Phoenix moved him up to a 22.4 DRR, a seductive number for a 20-year-old rookie. His facility as a passer and a cutter, his potential to develop a reliable perimeter jumpshot, and his temperament and basketball IQ all suggest he’s going to run off a series of double-double years before he even hits his prime. He’s also got a scorer’s instincts and that will pay off when Doc Rivers starts running plays for him.

What more is there to say about Bradley? He was a game changer from his first game of the season and Danny Ainge is stretching less than you’d think when he compares Bradley’s defensive impact — in terms of how he elevates his teammates’ defensive performance — to that of Kevin Garnett. Bradley may never be a go-to option on offense but if he could make himself a reliable perimeter shooter and transition threat (and both of these things seem likely) then he’ll be a starter in the league for years to come. And that’s his floor. He could be a lot better.

Here’s the problem: the kind of piece Boston needs to legitimize its chances at a championship run this season may only be available for a package that includes one of Bradley or Sullinger. With every game, that seems a more exorbitant price to pay because, shy of acquiring a star, Boston will enter the playoffs as no better than the second most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference, and if there are any health snafus amongst Garnett, Rajon Rondo or Paul Pierce, they could be far further down that list.

So, how interested are you in shipping off one of Boston’s two brightest young pieces to honor KG and Pierce, who most assuredly deserve reinforcements if they’re available?

I don’t see an easy answer to that question.

You could hope that more consistent work from Jeff Green and the returning Chris Wilcox could shore up the big spots in the rotation, but then you’d be gambling on Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox and historical returns on those two stocks have been south of subpar.

You could hope Bradley and Sullinger are the missing pieces and that the two can make incremental leaps between now and the playoffs but then you’re asking a lot of two young players, one of whom struggles to stay on the court because of foul trouble and another whose continuing shoulder health is an uncertain prospect.

You could move either for an upgrade but unless it’s a star with a capital ‘S,’ you could be mortgaging your future for nothing better than a dark horse shot. Aren’t those guys worth more than that?

So, I’m torn. All these options have things to recommend them as well as clear downsides. All these things are risks. I hope some clarity will come out of  Boston’s play over the next month and, to a lesser extent, the developing trade market, which might make Ainge’s decision for him.

But what about everyone else? What do you want Ainge to do?

  • CsFanPNW

    Don't kid yourself, a true star with a capital S will take BOTH ab and sully. There's no question about that. Period. Me, I'm not sure what I would do.

  • Phil725

    The title of this article is probably the thing I've gone back and forth on the most times this year… of course, it was a lot easier when the team looked headed for a second round ceiling, Bradley was rehabbing and Sullinger was playing 10 minutes a game. Now that they're both playing (and very well,) you have to really fight to get through that first instinct to say 'never trade'. I assume the comments will be pretty close to unanimous for no trade.

    I'm sure it won't shock anyone to hear that I wouldn't trade the savior, but it's because I don't think he's valuable enough around the league to trade. You know who's more valuable in a trade than Bradley? Al Jefferson. You know who's a 'lot' less valuable on the court than Bradley? Al Jefferson. This is a league that overvalues scoring and undervalues defense. Bradley's value as an energy defender and niche offensive player is even higher to this team than what I'd say his value in a vacuum is as well. That's my objective take. My biased take is that I think Bradley is too good to trade for Gortat or Varejao (if he's even still an option,) and I think it would take too many additional assets to pry Cousins away from the Kings to be worth it as well, even if they did trade him in the middle of an ownership change, unlikely.

    That leaves us with Sullinger. He's the kind of player that you love to have on your team, but he's also got a lot of value in his potential and his contributions are potentially replaceable. I won't claim to have a grasp on his current trade value, but what if this team sputters to a record like 9-7 over the upcoming easy schedule leading up to the trade deadline while Sullinger continues to prove he's deserving of being a lottery pick? To me, there's only one potential trade barring something out of left field; Sullinger/Lee for Gortat (add in whatever filler you want, but that would be the center.) Gortat's unhappy in Phoenix (so they know he's gone in two years,) and he's the type of proven big man the Cs would be looking for. A quick check of his stats show he's a great rebounder, and his offensive game is around what I would call the ceiling for Sullinger. He's 28; not young, not old, and his contract is nice for two years.

    I'm not saying I (or Phoenix,) would do that deal, but it's that or nothing. There's a ton that I don't know about that trade too. I'm very big on intangibles with this team, and I think Sullinger's energy and toughness have had a major effect. I wouldn't trade him unless I knew the team was okay with it, and even then I'd be concerned.

    Whew, I'm sweating this out just speculating. Glad I don't have to make the decisions.

    • http://twitter.com/Sean945 @Sean945

      I agree on pretty much everything. Just look at the people saying Houston overpaid for Asik (top 10 league wide defensively) but people don't bat an eyelid at someone like Steph Curry (top 10 offensively) getting $12m plus per year.

      I'm not sure Phoenix would have much interest in Sully though. They already have a similar player in Scola and Sully isn't exactly built for a run-and-gun offense. I would keep them both unless a top tier star is available and I cant see that happening. There are a couple second tier players (Gay and J. Smith) seemingly available but having $25m a year tied up in Green and Gay/Smith is not the way to go.

      • Phil725

        I'm so glad that Asik contract happened and he's played well this year. It's so much easier to argue value now that Asik plays defensive MVP quality minutes for 8m a year while Al Jefferson kills the Jazz for 15m. (but just look at his offensive game!)

        Good point about Phoenix. I'm still wondering why they bid on Scola in the first place. They had to know they were going nowhere, and their owner sold Rondo for 3m for crying out loud! Why pay Scola to get you a worse lottery pick? I feel like there's some weird amnesty rule where they can't trade him either, though I don't know for sure. Maybe that is enough to nix that trade.

        I've got less than no interest in Gay's game, or any combination of salary that it would take to get him assuming they won't touch Green, but Smith is an interesting wildcard. Atlanta's been good all year so there's been no trade talk outside of Laker fans dreaming, but they're starting to nosedive now. It's just a simple losing streak at the moment, but if it gets worse going up to the trade deadline, maybe they do something. I haven't looked at Smiths game lately though and I have no idea what his value is, so I wouldn't even speculate there.

        • Josh_5

          Agree with Phil. I don't want anything to do with Rudy Gay and as he mentioned earlier, defense is not valued in the NBA (exceptions being the Spurs, Bulls, etc). Therefore, Bradley is going to be undervalued in the marketplace but what he offers to our squad is unique and extremely valuable. If we traded Bradley, we would not get equal value back in terms of IMPACT to this team.

    • No time to trade

      Great points. I agree with pretty much everything you said, save for the ceiling on Sullinger. It's his rookie season and when he's been given good minutes, he's already proving to be a double-double machine desptie having no plays or any offense called for him. It's true he isn't very athletic, but he really is crafty with a mature post game and I've seen him numerous times now pull down the ball and finish despite being surrounded by 3 defensive players.

      Gortat is overrated, thanks to the season he had last year with Nash.. He's averaging 8ppg and 6.8 rpg and 1.2 bpg for his career, and only 11.6 ppg 8.9 rpg and 1.9 bpg this season. Other then the blocks, those numbers aren't impressive for a starting center in his prime. They are serviceable, but you don't trade for serviceable and giving up a 20 yr old who is (blocks aside) putting up better numbers per 48 min, and has the highest defensive rating on the team is a huge mistake.

      Point being I wouldn't even make that trade straight up. Gortat has peaked and will never be more then an above average center. I don't think Sullinger's ceiling is anywhere in sight yet. He seriously could be a 20 ppg 15 rpg 5 apg monster.

  • jpbl1976

    See, the problem with entertaining any trade talks for either or both of these two youngsters is this: whom are you getting in return?

    You said it yourself, Ryan: at best, we're the 2nd best team in the conference. I like our chances if that's the case — and given our guys' big game experience, even if our record says otherwise, I don't think any other team can legitimately challenge Miami — especially after KG mentally destroyed Melo the other day.

    The truth is, there's no trade Danny can engineer, short of swinging one for Kevin Durant and/or Chris Paul that would push Boston above Miami in the rankings. Landing DeMarcus Cousins, at the cost of Sully and Avery, isn't making us better than Miami — it might even blow the season. Neither is trading Pierce for Rudy Gay or any other crazy scenario short of merging Boston's best 7 with Chicago's best 3.

    As much as I don't really find Lebron's game aesthetically pleasing and have really grown to dislike Wade (after being a fan of his in previous years), they're still better than any other pair out there outside of Durant-Westbrook or Paul-Griffin.

    That said, the thing with Lebron is that I don't really believe the hype — I've watched plenty of Miami games on League Pass and while Lebron is hands-down the best 2-way player in the league and should be the MVP front runner together with Durant (the whole Carmelo thing is a fiction engineered by New York's ever-present, ever-hyperbolic media), I think Lebron is only slightly more mentally tough this year than last year.

    In fact, for all the insane narrative that Lebron in 2013 is like Jordan in 1992, the fact of the matter is that Lebron just doesn't scare opponents the way that Michael Jordan did. No coach in the league tells his players not to even talk to him. If anything, a number of them tell their athletic young wings to get in his grill.

    Also, the truth is that it wasn't really Miami that beat the Celtics, it was our stalled offense in Game 7 of the ECF. Our guys simply ran out of gas.

    So I say give this team a chance; if we manage a 10-game winning streak (I think the guys have it in them), we'll probably wind up rising to 2nd or 3rd in the East with the way that Miami and New York have been playing.

    There's still plenty of time and the recent run with Bradley starting to churn, Sully going great guns and Green playing relatively consistently is making me think of how scary the Celtics could be one Jason Terry goes on a hot streak (think Clippers East).

    • kg215

      Agree with most of your post but Lebron-Wade=3rd best pair? They are #1 by a mile. Are you kidding me? Durant is not nearly as good at passing/defending/posting up/driving to the basket as Lebron, and Westbrook is too stupid to be better than Wade (too many bad shots and turnovers). CP3 is not nearly as good as Lebron or Durant in terms of overall play, and Blake is still too raw to cancel out Westbrook or Wade.

      • jpbl1976

        Yeah, I agree about Lebron/Wade being the best pair.

        That was a mistake on my part; what I meant to write was "including" not "outside of."

        That said, I think old Celticshub friend Zach Lowe recently wrote on Grantland that while Lebron is clearly still better than Durant, it's actually much closer than we think.

        • Josh_5

          Agreed. People need to stop this bullshit of worshiping Lebron and comparing him to Jordan. Durant is a better scorer, grabs the same amount of boards and shoots a better FT%. I agree that its closer then the biased media and average brainwashed fan wants to admit.

      • Facts are facts

        I hugely disagree with you on Lebron/Wade being #1 by a mile. You're certainly entitled to your opinion. But theres simply no facts that support that being anything but an opinion. The duo's combined PER is nearly identicle and based on overall record and statistically both individually and as a tandom, Durant and Westbrook are the best. It's not even close.

        Durant is having a historic season shooting over 50% from the floor, 40% from 3 and 90% from the line while putting up better numbers in points, blocks, steals, and 3's per game then LeBron while shooting nearly the same percentage from the floor and killing LeBron at the line. Westbrook is outplaying Wade in ever statistical category (save for Wade's scant lead in blocks). Westbrook is averaging twice as many assits, 3's pg, and even steals, while shooting better from the line.

    • dslack

      Agree with almost everything.

      The problem with this post is that it doesn't address who the trade target would be. A Star with a capital 'S'? Who? Durant? Sure — trade Sully & Bradley for Durant. Luol Deng? Absolutely not. So, tell us who's the star for whom they'd be traded, and we'll tell you if we like the idea.

  • Steevelknievel

    A Green/Bass for Al Jefferson trade works (once those guys are eligible for trade) and it certainly gives Utah solid individuals who are willing to come off the bench, be good players who don't get in the way of their budding stars, won't gripe and are have iron-clad deals so they can't bolt SLC.
    Big Al's weaknesses are covered by the the personnel we have now and his scoring/offensive rebound instincts really balance out the starting 5.
    It wold certainly require more playing time fro Pierce but you could lose the inconstancies of Bass/Green and really add a player whose strengths round out the Cs.

    • OKCeltic

      While your trade suggestion is interesting, more playing time for Pierce is not a good alternative. He'd have nothing left going into the playoffs, and that's the main focus of this team, the playoffs.

  • Mike Double U

    I think unless its stud in their prime you pass. My preference would be Bass, and/or Green for a lower tier banger although I think Fab wi be a more athletic Steamer and that what we really need is a big guard

  • CG12

    I've said it before and I'll say it again – the C's should and will ride this thing til the wheels fall off. The one thing they clearly lack is a top-tier center. Beyond that, they have basically everything you could want. Say you trade Bradley and the Sullinator for Gortat. Your starting lineup is RR-CLee/JET-Pierce-KG-Gortat. Your bench is Barbosa-CLee/JET-Green-Bass-Wilcox. The first team's defense is maybe a little worse without Bradly and it's offense maybe a little better. The second team is maybe worse on both sides of the ball, but it is not a clear thing by any means. You could argue the point either way.

    • CG12

      There are several things I love about this team as currently constituted. The players all slot into just the right roles. AB sets the defensive tone out of the gate and gives the first team a little energy and athleticism it doesn't have with JET starting at the 2 spot. JET comes off the bench firing. CLee brings defensive energy, transition play and capable offense. Sully is beasting on second unit big men. Green is going super hard to the hole, getting buckets and drawing fouls. When Danny signed everyone in the offseason, I could hardly contain my glee. Lee was the cherry on top. This is a second team that can and should absolutely blow the doors off other reserves. I expect them to play fast and confident, which they reallllly weren't doing early in the year. The last couple of games have shown that they are capable of that.

    • CG12

      The other thing is the great balance between having strong team now and planning for the future. Pierce and KG ride off into the sunset in a year or two. We still (hopefully) have Rondo, Bradley, Sullinger, Green, and Lee. The money will be there to sign a top tier FA – I don't really know who – Lamarcus Aldridge? Continuity is huge for a team like the C's that depends on a certain culture as part of what they do. The top teams in the league keep a core for several years – just look at the Thunder and the Spurs. The C's have scuffled in large part because it has been difficult to integrate the new pieces, especially where they didn't fit where intended with Bradley out. I think Ainge has done a masterful job building this roster. I say keep everybody and let this thing play out, which is the same thing I said when we had lost 4 and the sky was falling.

      • jpbl1976

        Speaking of the future, I can't imagine whom the Celtics can add that would properly replicate KG and Pierce. Those two are among the more unique players in NBA history. Think of it this way: there are many small forwards who can give you 20-4-4 on 44% shooting and many Power Forwards who can give you 18-10-3 but none of them can bring the same defense, late game presence, savvy and intelligence that those two can.

        Among the current crop of players who could still be playing when KG retires, the only one who could replicate the majority of KG's defensive productivity is Tyson Chandler. That said, he isn't as mentally-tough as KG and his offense isn't going outside of pick-and-rolls isn't going to scare anyone.

        Meanwhile, although it's possible that Pierce's production can be replicated purely on a numbers level by guys like Rudy Gay or Danny Granger — those guys don't have Pierce's knack for the big moment or ability to perform under pressure. Also, like KG, Pierce is just so mentally-tough.

        I think the guy who's closest to Pierce in terms of offensive creativity might be James Harden (Harden even has similar quirky timing) but, like the others, he's not proven in the clutch (as evidenced by his disappearing act during last season's Finals).

    • Marko

      I don't think you'd have to give up both AB and Sully to get Gortat, probably just one and another piece.

  • Guest

    I am not yet ready to quit on this roster–a core of the big three plus Bass was a bit of offensive execution (or a bit of AB defense) away from the finals, and look at the changes since: Sully is an upgrade over every non-starting big from last year, Bradley is back, Terry looks little worse than Allen did on his bad ankle, and even at their present level of play Lee and Green are better than anyone we had at those positions last year. Barbosa is not a rotation player but can energize a lethargic offense. The early season struggles this year do not concern me at all; the Celtics were 16-17 at one point last year, before Bradley turned their season around. It looks as if he is doing it again.

    The big-three Celtics have never been about stars; they have been about depth, defined roles, and execution. Moreover, the Celtics primary problems this season, as I see them, are rebounding and perimeter defense. Will trading away the team's best rebounder or best perimeter defender fix either of those problems?

  • Ford

    WHAT ABOUT JOSH SMITH OR TYREKE EVANS????

    I have heard rumors that we could get them pretty cheaply. Especially tyreke, i think sac is really tired of him. Although i really want Josh Smith, i think that he really wants to play with rondo again and he super young and to me also plays a similar game to garnett. I mean not with defensive toughness, but in terms of a lanky big with some range. I think the problem with him is the defense night in night out but i think (wiht no rel evidence that he could turn into a stopper. he certainly athletic enough

    • Josh_5

      Not to be mean, but I've always got the vibe from Tyreke that he's really dumb. (low bball IQ)

      • hydrofluoric

        Not to mention he's 5'9'' and doesn't play D… we've already got someone who has every skill Tyreke does and his name is Leandro Barbossa.

      • Phil725

        I wouldn't be opposed to taking a chance on Tyreke Evans, his biggest problem is that factoring in amount of attempts, he's one of the two worst jump shooters in the league. It's hard to overrate how dysfunctional his situation has been since he came into the league though. Surround him with veterans and Doc, and you have to think he could up his game. This is a guy who won rookie of the year; there's a lot more potential there than someone like Barbosa.

        That said, I also wouldn't trade anyone for him. He's a restricted free agent after this year, and there's growing suspicion that the Kingsonics won't tender him. I would hope to pick him up on an OJ Mayo like one/two year deal and see if he can be a huge impact guy next year. If not, just let him walk. I wouldn't lose sleep if he went somewhere else.

  • hydrofluoric

    As long as the road to the finals runs through Miami – which it still does – I disagree with all the claims that we need a 'real center.' Unless we can somehow transform our front line into Indiana or Chicago's bangers, we're not going to beat Miami by pounding the glass and scoring inside. In fact, we already do have a top tier center in Kevin Garnett (for 30 minutes); what we need is a serviceable backup with length and speed who can guard Chris Bosh. And by the way, at this point in his career, Bosh is a very tough matchup for KG.

    What we could really benefit from is a big D-and-3 guy who can hold down the SF slot. Thabo Sefolosha fits the bill, but even better would be Nicolas Batum. Portland's probably way too smart to trade Batum for Jeff Green straight up, but he might be a guy worth looking into. We couldn't get him without giving up either Avery or Sully (sadly probably less useful against Miami), but he might be had for only one or the other plus either Green or some combo of Bass/Lee/JET.

  • Josh_5

    Unless you can get a low post banger/defender for cheap (like giving up Wilcox or Bass or Lee) I say you ride this thing out with the current roster. Bradley and Green are still rounding themselves into form and Sully is ever improving. You can't mortgage your future by trying to to make one last desperate dark horse run.

  • tbunny

    Do not trade Bradley. This is final.

    Sullinger, he's bought himself another month that's for sure.

  • Bill

    Don't change a thing. Give this roster more time to develop.

    We lost to the heat last year because Bosh came back (and he hit multiple 3 balls in that game) and our offense disappeared. If this team stays healthy and they play with fire, we've got a shot.

  • High Rollers

    You don’t honor KG and Pierce by trading away their pit bulls.

    • Anthony

      Well put.

  • Vincent

    Keep Sully and Bradley UNLESS you can get a star for them… and you can't. I'd like the C's to be good for many years and not blow the future. Bass, Wilcox, Lee are all available, but we need to hold on to our best young cheap players. And Kevin McHale isn't a GM anymore, either.

  • searp

    Keep all current pieces in place to develop fluidity, then bring Fab Melo up from the developmental league to shore up the middle. With Melo’s talent and KG’s coaching he would be a dominant rebounder/shot blocker and a defensive giant. His scoring as shown by a series of 30 point NBADL games will grow with better competition and experience.

  • FrenchJujubean

    I say: don't touch anything. This team is now good enough to win it all. They were a few minutes away last year to go to the finals. And Bradley was absent. Now they have a second unit that's worth a first unit. If you break it up, you lose good pieces, and will have to work on chemistry again with new people in. I say wait for another month. Give Fab Melo some playing time to see how he develops. The answer might be him. If he adapts well, he is the big that we're missing. No need for a star.

  • The Cardinal

    There is a reason top tier offensive players are more valued than top tier defensive players – you win by outscoring the other team, and the 30 GM's and coaches who set the market know this. The ability to score consistently at the NBA level is a biggggg deal, and legitimate scoring, back to the basket bigs are much rarer than any other position player. A good coach can integrate any reasonably mobile and motivated player (see Allen, Ray while in Boston) into a good team defensive scheme (see Rivers, G. (Doc)).

    That said, it's not a zero sum situation – perceived "poor" defensive players can be motivated to play defense with the right lineup (see Allen, Ray while in Boston). It boils down to this – KG came back for one purpose – to win a championship, not to wait on players to develop so that in three or four years, we are legitimate title contenders. If Danny believes this team as configured can win it all, then I will cross my fingers and hope for the best. But if Danny believes this team can get better by making a key trade or two? Then I'm all for it because I don't see our current team as a championship team like a lot of posters here.

    The 5-6 minute scoring droughts that continue to happen are much less likely to happen when you have a legitimate post player that can get you points or fouls in the paint. Remember the first part of the 3rd quarter against Phoenix? That was just the latest in our all-to-frequent disappearing offense act (which is the only reason the Lakers beat us in 2010 – geez, that still pisses me off).

    The whole idea that Jefferson CAN'T play defense is wrong. Jefferson can play defense and if he's in Boston, Jefferson WILL play defense. That said, I would love for the tooth fairy to arrange a trade for him (or someone like him but at the moment, I don't see anyone else) without having to give up Bradley (a la Gasol to the Lakers), but it ain't gonna happen. I actually believe Al could be the piece that gets us to the finals, but I accept that many others don't. I also have zero idea whether Al (or Martin) is a legitimate consideration for this team.

  • skeeds

    I think this is where we have to force ourselves to be realistic, which pretty much means being non-fans.
    This team has slim, if any, championship aspirations. Winning it all would still be unlikely even if we made a significant move.
    we are basically entering a transitional period. We need to figure out what we're aiming for not this year, (win now is a great motto, but not realy feasible anymore). So my opinion is that we should hang on to both Bradley and Sully. They are young starter level players with huge upside. The ideal players you want to avoid a rebuilding vortex of doom.
    The only reason to trade any of them? For a high level young star compatible with Rondo. Not necessarily a superstar, but a game changer. Can a trade bring Noah to Boston? Can we swap Bradley and Sully for a healthy Kevin Love? Then sure, go for it. But nothing less will change this team's situation for this year and beyond.

    • Phil725

      I disagree with the idea that those aspirations are unrealistic. The East is 'really' weak. Miami will be there in the end for sure, but who else will? Does Indy scare you in a 7 game series? The Knicks? What if Bosh tweaks a knee again? I'm not saying the team should be favored or anything, but if you told me now that they beat Atlanta and Indy and are 2-2 versus the Heat in the ECF, I wouldn't be shocked.

      Beating the West champion is a whole different story, but no one would say it was a failure if you got past Miami and lost to OKC or whoever.

      • skeeds

        I'm not saying we can't have a deep playoff run. But winning the championship is a whole different story, as you said. Even if we exceed expectations by coming out of the east, we have some fundamental weaknesses going up against the riddiculous combination of talent, youth, athleticism and depth of the likes of OKC or the Clippers.
        All I'm saying is that, if 2-3 years ago it was worth making any move to improve for the season, right now I wouldn't be willing to, even if it did give us a marginally better chance.

        • Phil725

          That's fair, I think I just look at it a little differently in that if you're in the finals, you can't ask for much more and anything can happen. I think the team has a very realistic shot to make the finals… I also think there are a few juggernauts in the West that I don't see the team beating.

          that's all kind of moot though, because I don't see a player available who would be that marginal increase now at the expense of long term stability. Varejao probably would've fit that mold, but I don't think he's an option anymore now that he's getting surgery. Gortat is the only other guy that the team has been tied to (not counting Cousins,) but unless you give up Bradley, I don't see that as a big long term downgrade- is Sullinger going to turn into a much better player than Gortat?

          • Josh_5

            Hell yes he is!

          • skeeds

            well, he might, might not. Thing is, Gortat is not so huge an upgrade to justify giving up Sully's potential value 1-2 years from now. And I'm not just talking talent wise. If Sully keeps this pace up through the season, he's a huge future trade chip, simply based on unrealized potential (that he might never reach, obviously). Even if Ainge desperately wanted to trade him, he'd be a fool not to wait as his value will most probably multiply over the next few months.
            Unless, if the trade brought back a huge upgrade right now. A healthy Varejao for instance, would be a fantastic move. If by giving up Sully you can bring in a guy who basically averages as much as your whole frontline, (I wish that was as huge an exaggeration as it sounds), then sure, screw upside and potential.

  • tomrod

    Cousins is not even a garantee to improving. Specially if we have to give up Bradley.
    I would however do the trade for Josh Smith. Sullinger, Lee and a first round pick seems like enough.

    Otherwise I would stay put.
    We need a 6 10 guy that can play defense against Carmelo, Bosh and Boozer: K-Mart
    and a Center that can come in and protect the rim and clash with Noah and Haslem: Fab Melo, come on if Collins and Stiemsma could last year why cant he do it, in even less minutes and a smaller role than Stiemsma…

  • Morpheus

    Two words. Samuel Dalembert.

    • Vincent

      Two more words: No thanks

  • Anthony

    The way Sully is playing, he will abuse anyone Miami puts on him….Joel Anthony, Haslem, Bosh? Bosh is soft and will not want any part of Sully. I agree with a lot of the post saying the NBA devalues defense so Celts won't get equal value for AB. That being said, DO NOT TRADE SULLY OR AB.

    Don't really want to trade CLee either. He's like the guard version of Posey minus all the man-hugs. He plays and defends the 1-2-3 well.

    Unless a trade is available for JGreen, Bass, or Collins, I say keep the team as is. It's unlikely anyone would touch JGreen's contract despite his recent good plays. Maybe Danny Ferry will stop being bitter and trade use JSmoove or Al Horford for Bass and JGreen.

    Just curious, what about JGreen and Bass for Pau Gasol (and Lakers paying for part of his contract)? or Rudy Gay? Only reason I wouldn't do the Gasol trade is cuz it would make the Lakers better.

  • No time to trade

    One would hope that Ainge learned from the 2010 season and how the mid-season trade imploded a team with the best record in the East and four all-stars, leading to barely .500 ball the rest of the year and a quick playoff exit.

    Far as I know, there isn't a team in the history of the NBA that has ever made a mid-season trade then gone on to win the championship. Winning a title is more about chemistry and knowing how to win, then it is about having the most talented roster. Take Miami and OKC as perfect examples. In 2011 Miami was a far more talented team then Dallas, but the Mavs had chemistry and knew how to close out games. Miami learned from that defeat and in 2012 they beat OKC (who IMO had a more talented roster). San Antonio has been a threat to win the title for years with a roster that really isn't very athletic or talented…but plays exceptional team ball. The Clippers have the best record in the league, but other then CP3 and Blake, they are really just a bunch of role players with very limited games that happen to have amazing chemistry and compliment each other.

    Point being, chemisty takes time. Any trade, star or not, would destroy the chemistry that is finally just starting to build and you can't expect even a great player to come in to a new system and have the crisp execution you will need to have to win a title. It just doesn't happen.

    2008 was really an anomoly that all other teams are trying to mimic. The C's pulled together 3 stars who meshed instantly and went on to win the title. Miami tried to copy this, and won, but it took them 2 full seasons to gell even though they were already friends and comfortable with one another. The Lakers tried it this year and it's failing miserably. The Knicks tried it with Melo, Stat, and Chandler, and 3 years in they still haven't figured out how to get them all to mesh.

    The goal is to win a title. So yes, lets add a rim defender or another piece that can improve things…but trading any core pieces doesn't make sense and has never proven to ever lead to a championship. This team is not the most talented or athletic…but that doesn't mean they can't be the most effective and that the overall team play can't overcome their deficiencies.

    • No time to trade

      Though, to completely contradict what I said…if Josh Smith wanted to come here, I'd give up Sully and Lee and a pick or Melo in a heartbeat. He's a two-way killer, one of the best rim defenders and rebounders in the game and every bit as athletic as LeBron.

      A line-up of Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Smith and KG would be sick and is the only move I can forsee the puts us in serious contention…assuming Josh plays nice with others…and the team gels…with chemistry.

    • Fraser

      sheed to the pistons in 2004…….still, they should not trade anyone.

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