A flurry of trade rumors have recently surfaced involving the Boston Celtics. With the chemistry on this team, it would be extremely difficult departing with any one of these players. However, Danny Ainge will do anything necessary to put the Celtics in a better position going forward. Ainge is not worried about “competing” or “tanking,” rather he is mostly interested in making his team better for the future.
Since the Celtics are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division and fourth overall in the East, the question remains whether to become a “buyer” by giving up younger pieces to acquire established players to increase the chance of locking up home field advantage in the playoffs, or to be a “seller” and trade away the established veterans in order to obtain younger assets and draft picks for the future. Or there is always the option of not doing anything at all and standing pat. Depending on the pieces the Celtics get back, the choice is very clear.
One rumor swirling around is interest in Houston Rockets center Omer Asik. The Rockets are reportedly looking for a power forward with range and defensive ability, as well as draft picks, and the Celtics happen to have a plethora of both. One trade scenario that may work in order to acquire Asik is offering Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and one of the many draft picks, perhaps the 2015 Los Angeles Clippers draft pick. Asik would provide the Celtics with a rim protector, plus he’s only 27. The defense would greatly benefit from Asik’s presence. Brad Stevens has already built a strong defense despite the lack of an interior presence. However, without Bass, the offense would suffer, and Asik’s salary of $14 million for next year may be detrimental to the Celtics’ cap situation. Also, Bass is a popular figure with the team and among fans. All in all, it would not be a bad trade to consider.
Another big rumor that is starting to heat up is a trade that involves the beloved Rajon Rondo. Many reports have presumed that a trade between the Celtics and Sacramento Kings is looming. The details of the deal have not been specified, but if I was to speculate, Ainge would not trade Rondo unless he is acquiring worthy pieces — perhaps a trade scenario that involves Ben McLemore, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton (for financial purposes), along with a couple of first-round picks. It seems like a lot, but Ainge is not selling low on Rondo. He will only agree to trade Rondo if he obtains significant pieces for the future. Thomas has been terrific this year, McLemore has much potential, and first-round picks may seal the deal. I’m sure the Kings would love to see what Rondo can do with Damarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. It would be sad to see Rondo go, but this deal may be worth a look.
The Celtics, by no means, need to make a deal this season, but if a transaction comes up that could be beneficial for the future as well as the salary cap, Ainge should consider it. I personally like the Asik trade, but I want to see what Rondo can do with this Celtics team when he returns from injury. However, until a legitimate deal arises, let’s just sit back and enjoy the current Celtics squad.