The NBA trade deadline of Feb. 20 is quickly approaching, and Danny Ainge is thought to be one of the busiest GM's fielding phone calls. Although everyone on Boston's roster may be available to a degree, it is being reported by FOX sports that Ainge intends to build around Rajon Rondo, Jared Sulinger and oddly enough, Jeff Green.
Here's a peak at what FOX sports has been hearing from other NBA executives:
Most executives contacted by FOX Sports Ohio say it seems more and more likely that Ainge and coach Brad Stevens want to build around point guard Rajon Rondo, forward Jeff Green and second-year big man Jared Sullinger, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Everyone else, however, appears to be available. (And even those three aren't considered untouchable.)
Outside of Rondo, Green and Sullinger, forward Brandon Bass and guard Avery Bradley are drawing the most interest. The same goes for backup forward Kris Humphries, whose $12 million contract is set to expire.Rondo and Sullinger make perfect sense to build around. Rondo seems to be finding his game more and more each game since returning from an ACL tear. The only way Rondo is shipped out is for the perfect package of young talent and draft picks, as well as finding a team that would welcome Gerald Wallace's hefty contract.
Sullinger is in a similar situation. He has shown fantastic developments during his second season in the league, and appears poised to become an NBA star. Sullinger is staying put in Boston, unless Ainge is able to use him in an Al Jefferson type role to acquire a proven Kevin Garnett type superstar -- unlikely Ainge gets that lucky again.
Green on the other hand, has been a disappointment this season. The expectations were that Green would be the star of this team, and on some nights he is. But there lies the problem, despite decent averages, Green has been wildly inconsistent. Which makes it interesting that Ainge wants to use him as a block in Boston's rebuild.
Avery Bradley (if re-signed) seems to be a more logical choice than Green, which leaves only three reasons as to why Green could be the choice.
1. Ainge is just working the market as usual. If Ainge says Green is a building block worth keeping, could it raise Uncle Jeff's trade value? Maybe, guess we will have to find out.
2. Ainge has accepted that Green's contract is not able to be traded unless he is included in a Rondo deal. So he has decided to cut his losses and use a still talented Green as an overpaid piece to eventually be Boston's third scorer, or become a sixth man.
3. Maybe Danny actually still has confidence in Green. My eyes tell me otherwise, as many others have noticed as well this year, Green is just never going to be a consistent star. Although this option would have many questioning Ainge's intelligence, it still can't be ruled out.
Obviously the largest key to Boston's rebuild is still unknown. Where the Celtics finish their season is going to have a huge impact on where Boston drafts, and could yield them a franchise changing player.
Building around Rondo and Sullinger is a nice start, Green however, does not fit the mold to be a key contributor to Boston's future.
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Source: FOX sports Julian Edlow 2/12/2014 12:48:00 PM Tweet Edit