Saturday, February 06, 2010
Due to the amount of time lost to key players, it is difficult to be confident in any assessment of the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics as the trading deadline nears. Is the team healthy enough to have a legitimate chance at raising another banner this June? If so, do they need a last piece to push them over the top and what type of player would that be? Danny Ainge and his staff are in a tough situation, but they could have their cake and eat it too.
With reportedly only a hand full of teams in the black, according to The B.S. Report: 1/29 (My guess is that the Celtics are one of the five due to a large TV market and high attendance; plus the Lakers, Knicks, Mavs, Bulls for the same two reasons.), and others trying to shed salary for summer of LeBron and company, many clubs desire The Green’s $31M in expiring contracts. The Celtics can leverage these two advantages if they are willing to take on salary beyond this season.
By trading Ray Allen and his $19.8M salary, the Celtics could acquire a shooting guard signed for multiple years plus another piece to still compete this year. They should not have too much competition as the Lakers and Mavs do not have much coming off their books after this season. As far as the Bulls and Knicks, the duo are not looking to take on 2010-11 money as they want to be big players this summer.
Monta Ellis, who has been rumored, fits the SG profile but no one else on the Warriors roster and ledger works. The same can be said, but to a lesser degree, about Jason Richardson and the Suns. Kirk Hinrich's contract is terrible relative to his production and is not much of an upgrade over a healthy Marquis Daniels.
The best fit would be bringing Caron Butler and Mike Miller to Boston for Ray Allen. It could be tough defensively against quick twos at times, but offensively things could be just fine. And after the 2010-11 season, the Celtics will have the same type of flexibility with $35M in expiring contracts.