The question on the mind of every Celtics fan since 2012's improbable run to the ECF has been "when does Danny Ainge blow it up?"

Well that question has been answered... hypothetically. The staff of CelticsLife has taken to the ESPN Trade Machine to find some additional options for the Celtics to consider.

WEEK 4: Detroit trades Greg Monroe and Charlie Villanueva to Boston for Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Kelly Olynyk.

THE PRO ARGUMENT by Matt Richissin


It's just another case of Joe Dumars outsmarting himself. He finished last season with two top level prospect big men. They're both immensely talented, and they both clearly slipped way further in the draft then they should've. The problem is, they can't play together.

Drummond is an athletic freak, whose offensive ability is limited but still effective. While Monroe can operate at the shoulder (and has the capabilities of being a tremendous passer), he's really most effective on the block. Which is hard to do when you've got a teammate (and his defender) 3 feet away looking to dunk in a miss.

The eye ball test shows it, and the numbers back it up: Last year, the Detroit Pistons top 3 best five man rotations all feature Jason Maxiell and Greg Monroe. Any Monroe/Drummond combination that played together for over 100 minutes a game, shows up in the negative.

SO OF COURSE Joe Dumars decides to pair this combo with Josh Smith: Who might like to shoot long 2's and 3's, but he just isn't very good at them. And to the surprise of pretty much no one; it's not working. And more importantly, it never will.

Boston can offer an extremely interesting package. Jeff Green, and his .384 3 pt% gives Detroit immediate relief. His length allows Joe Dumars to take credit for “thinking unconventionally,” and his occasional indifference to scoring (and life in general) might actually be a plus when you keep the egos of some of his potential teammates in mind.

Courtney Lee's contract might be a little dicey, but he's a significant upgrade at the shooting guard position for the Pistons, helps stretch the floor, and solidifies the Pistons starting lineup as one of the best defensive units in basketball.


This is about the future for the Boston Celtics, who'd be able to match any offer on Monroe this summer (a number that figures to be around $12M). Greg Monroe allows this team to move forward with an extremely talented, and more importantly, very young front court.

There are certainly some knocks on Monroe, mostly his lack of maturation during his 2+ years in the league. But I've got to wonder, how much of that is his fault? And how much has to do with his supporting cast, which was either a poor unit, or poor fit for him.

Sullinger, on the other hand seems to compliment Monroe perfectly. Sullinger's mid-long range game allows the proper spacing Monroe would need to operate in the post where he's outright brilliant. And I can't even begin to imagine what kind of sets Brad Stevens could cook up with two big men as talented at passing as Sullinger and Monroe.

Defensively, Sullinger's help defense could hide some of Monroe's lapses, while Monroe's height could prove to be fruitful for a Celtics team in desperate need of further rim protection.

So what say you, Padraic? Why isn't this my most brilliant idea to date?

THE CON ARGUMENT by Padraic O’Connor

Your logic is sound and it works from a money standpoint, but the rule of thumb in any trade is whoever gets the best player in the trade wins. The player with the most upside you discussed is Jared Sullinger who wouldn’t be moving as part of this deal, so why would Detroit make a trade that mostly benefits Boston?

This trade solves zero problems for Detroit. There are still logjams at key positions, limited opportunity for your young talent to develop, and no clear leader emerging as a result. It keeps them in the same exact boat they are in now – lost in the east.

This deal definitely doesn’t work for the Celtics in the short or long term. In the short term you trade away two of your most moveable contracts in Green and Lee for Charlie Villanueva and the chance to rent Greg Monroe for a year.

You also trade away Kelly Olynyk- the rookie that NBA GMs voted as the steal of the draft, whom you have under contract until 2018. For the amount of production the Celtics are going to get out of this kid, my guess is it’s going to take the reincarnation of Kevin McHale on a silver platter delivered to Danny Ainge to pry him away.

This deal only works in the long term if you think that Boston would have a chance of retaining Greg Monroe’s services beyond next season and that they want the right to pay him an incredible amount of money. He will definitely get large offers from every team in need of a young big. So… every team.

If it becomes a bidding war where Boston will have to pay more than they want to keep Monroe, than the plan to have a cost effective core with cap room to sign a max guy is gone and you’ve traded away an asset that you could build around for years. If your assessment of $12M a year is correct, that could be 5 years and $60M of Greg Monroe wherein the money you’re freeing up with the expiring deals of Villanueva and Humphries are immediately replaced by the Monroe Doctrine.

The reward doesn’t outweigh the risk… so why do it? Also- this would put Charlie Villanueva on the Celtics. I think I’ve made my point.

Who Won? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Padraic O’Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor and Matt Richissin @MattDotRich

Padraic O'Connor 12/05/2013 07:30:00 AM Edit
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