Zach Lowe was a former writer for us here at CelticsHub and now does fantastic work at Grantland.com covering the entire league. His column this morning was particular jam-packed with NBA trade tidbits and is worth the read all alone. However, his article also included this interesting observation about the type of players the Celtics may be looking to add at this trade deadline, such as buy-low guys on rookie deals like second-year guard Dion Waiters. Here’s Lowe at Grantland.
David Griffin has replaced Chris Grant as the Cavs’ GM, and the other 29 teams are calling to take Griffin’s temperature. The Cavs are likely still committed to chasing a playoff spot this season, but they sacrificed some valuable assets to acquire Luol Deng. If the Cavs think Deng is likely to bolt in free agency this summer, they have to be very careful sending out more future assets to bolster the current roster.
Dion Waiters falls at the intersection of all this. Warts and all, the guy has obvious NBA skills, and smart “buy low” talent evaluators recognize that. Boston has kicked around almost every intriguing “buy low” piece in the league, especially guys on rookie deals. The Celtics have an appetite for low-cost risk on high-upside talent, even talent with “attitude” issues, but Waiters might be too far down the road for Boston at this point. But if the Cavs can find a decent future first-rounder for Waiters, they have to think about it.
CH’s Take: Before this blows up into a huge trade rumor, let’s be clear here about what Lowe is saying. The Celtics want to bring in some buy-low guys on rookie deals, and Waiters is a guy that would potentially fit the bill for them. The possibility though brings plenty of intrigue, as the Celtics certainly have several players that could help the Cavs now in a potential playoff run (Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries) all come to mind.
The Cavs would be unwilling to do a deal for Waiters in all likelihood for any of those guys alone, however if the Celtics were willing to add a future 1st round pick to the deal (likely in a future draft from Nets or Clippers) it would be an interesting proposition for the C’s to take a flier on a players like Waiters.
Waiters’ career has been largely a disappointment thus far, marred by off-the-court attitude issues and inefficiency on the floor. However, it’s fair to note that the entire Cleveland organization has been a mess during his tenure thus far. A more structured atmosphere in Boston with a headier coach in Brad Stevens (to say the least) could do wonders for a young player with lottery talent like Waiters. He’s under contract for at least the next two seasons as well on his rookie deal (salaries of 4 million and 5 million upcoming), so it wouldn’t be a big-time investment.
Will it happen? Like Lowe said, “Waiters may be too far down the road” at this point for Boston, which may mean the attitude issues might be too much for them overcome. The consideration of players like Waiters though for the Celtics gives you a better indication of what kind of guys they are looking for as they explore the trade market. The C’s will be selling, but they will also be trying to buy low and buy young as well. Stay tuned.