Trade Thoughts on Ray Allen, Nate Robinson and more
Posted by Brian Robb on Feb 16, 2010
After a crazy weekend of trade talk, I’ve felt like I’ve been through the ringer regarding so many possible scenarios involving this Celtic squad. With less than 48 hours left to go here, I felt it was time, after closely monitoring the C’s situation to make a few educated guesses on how this trade deadline will play out. Feel free to throw in some of your own in the comments as well.
1) Any deal involving the Celtics will not go down until Thursday.
It’s quite simple really. when your best assets or expiring contracts, other teams aren’t going to make a deal with you until the 11th hour. With players like Brian Scalabrine, Tony Allen, Eddie House, Shelden Williams, J.R. Giddens etc. going to the sellers, those are not guys that will be in the long term future of the club they are traded to. They are simply ways for trade partners to shave future payroll.
Thus, if you are an opposing GM and have a useful player on a bad contract (Kirk Hinrich) or a useful player on a reasonable deal, you generally would be looking for some kind of talent in any deal initially. Things might change Thursday, when ownerships pressure GM’s to dump that payroll. That’s when Danny Ainge is looking to strike, at minimal cost, for the deal that helps this team now and is minimally damaging long term. Will that deal pop up? No one knows for sure, but it definitely has a better chance of happening as we get closer to the 3pm deadline Thursday, once more dominoes start to fall.
2) Ray Allen will not be traded
There are few teams in which a deal involving Ray would make sense. Sacramento for Kevin Martin would be one, but they don’t look ready to give up on him yet, just for cap room. Philly wants to hold on to Iguodala it appears as well unless they can package Dalembert with him, a deal too expensive for the C’s to handle for next year in all likelihood. Any Chicago deal wouldn’t bring enough talent back now unless Luol Deng was thrown in the mix, and it doesn’t sound like Chicago is ready to go there. Golden State would want to unload a bad contract like Corey Maggette in any deal for Monta Ellis as well so that is another financial dead end. Washington, we’ve already covered. Put it all together? Ray likely stays put, unless a wildcard team appears.
Here is the other reality with this team that everyone is forgetting with Ray Allen if he stays put. They can bring him back at a major discount next year and really need to do so, in order to keep their contender window open. Why? Because the team is well over the cap next year. If they let Ray walk, they can’t replace his payroll, they can only use the mid level exception (5-6 million) draft picks, or the trades to replace them. Since the C’s only have 6 players under contract, they will be best served spending that MLE exception elsewhere, and won’t have to dip into it by bringing back Allen since he will have bird rights.
So what will happen? My best guess is he stays, the team re-signs him for a major discount after this year with a reduced role and bring in another 2/3 type player to help reduce Ray and Paul’s minutes for real this time. I’m getting ahead of myself here though. Let’s head back to the present.
3) The Celtics will add a point guard, either via trade or more likely via buyout.
Talk to anyone who knows this team well and they will tell you the biggest need for this team when everyone is healthy is a backup point guard. Quisy can play it, but doesn’t know the playbook well enough too, Eddie is a big liability at the position and Tony Allen is well….Tony Allen. The need, like the past 2 years is there and we’ve heard the trade rumors buzzing for possible guards.
Kirk Hinrich is a guy I’d like to see Danny make a move on, but with his albatross of a contract, I can’t blame him for not taking him on, even if he costs nothing more than expiring contracts. Still, if ownership can handle that additional payroll for next year, Hinrich is a guy still in his prime at 28 and could play 25-30 minutes for you in the years to come, backing up Rondo and Ray Allen. He plays good D, can handle the ball and can shoot from deep despite a down year. If Danny wants to make a real upgrade without touching key pieces of the roster/trading draft picks, Hinrich is the best bet.
A wildcard in this whole scenario would be Minnesota who has Ramon Sessions locked up long term and were spotted scouting the C’s a week or two back. Let’s be honest here though, unless Danny is a magic man, the C’s have no assets to get Sessions that they would be interested in dealing. Same goes for Luke Ridnour in Milwaukee, another appealing option on an expiring deal, but with little incentive for the Bucks to flip him unless they get something worthwhile back. The C’s sadly don’t have much to offer.
So where do the C’s go from here? They likely will wait for some better options during the buyout period, where some options should come out of the woodwork. They could also try obtaining a low level guy who can competently run an offense and play better defense than Eddie House for 10-15 minutes a game. Those guys are generally few and far between come trade deadline time.
4) Nate Robinson will not be a Celtic unless the C’s give up a 1st round pick for him
Alan Hahn of Newsday has reported the C’s remain very interested in the slam dunk champion. With the Knicks not wanting to add any more payroll for next year, the C’s really have nothing to offer the Knicks besides taking on their bad contracts (No chance) or giving up a draft pick or two for Nate. The fact Robinson is also a base year compensation player makes any proposed deal tougher to complete under the cap.
I myself, am torn on this proposition, Robinson would bring an influx of youth and athleticism off the bench…..but would it be worth a 1st round pick for just a 3 month rental? I’m not sure, especially since Robinson won’t be the kind of piece that would make or break this team. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News also reports the C’s are still hot on Robinson’s trail so it will be interesting to see how much Ainge thinks Robinson is worth.
That’s it for now. Keep posted to us for the latest updates and feel free to throw out some of your own ideas as well.