|One down, two to go?|
The NBA's trade deadline is fast approaching, which means rumors will be swirling faster than ever.
The Celtics have already made a couple of moves this year, shipping out Courtney Lee, MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford in moves all geared towards the future. Even more so than years before, we can expect President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge to be extremely active in the coming weeks.
So, who is most likely to be shipped away? We decided to put that question to our staff. Feel free to jump in in the comments with your best guess!
Padraic O'Connor - KRIS HUMPHRIES - I think the changes of the Celtics moving Kris Humphries are pretty good. He's been playing well beyond expectation lately and has proven to be much more than just an expiring contract. $12M is a lot of money, but it is all coming off the books in the off-season, regardless of where he is playing, so I don't see this as a stumbling block in trying to move him.
He is most likely going to go to a west coast contending team that needs a little extra power in their front court rotation. LAC, Houston, Golden State, all options I could see working a deal for Humphries before the dead line.
Eric Blaisdell - BRANDON BASS - Bass has played really well this season, which ironically means he's probably played himself right out of Boston. For a team looking to acquire role players or possible starters (looking at you Houston) in a push for a title, his contract isn't tough to swallow at just under $7 million next season. Bass can be a nice piece on a contender with his defense and sweet mid-range jumper. He doesn't look to be in the future plans of the rebuilding Celtics, however, with Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk taking up most of the minutes at the four going forward. With his skill set, lack of future minutes and contract, Bass looks like he's the next man out the door in Boston.
Julian Edlow - BRANDON BASS - Brandon Bass has to be at the top of the list. He’s a well rounded veteran with a lot of playoff experience that would make sense for any number of contenders out west. Aside from his desirable play on the court, his contract is what is most important. At $6.9 million next season, a team can afford to take him on without worrying about future salary cap.
Austin Gill - AVERY BRADLEY - The reason I say Bradley is because I think the 'most likely to be traded' label is a toss up. Of course there are the usual suspects (Hump, Green, Bass), but I see Bradley more as the 'most likely to be packaged' with one of those aforementioned names to bring back a reasonably solid return. It's no secret Ainge is looking to stock pile as many assets (whether that comes in the form of picks or cap space) as possible. I think if a contender is looking to make a final push to bolster their bench this year, Bradley plus another name is a nice return for coughing up a pick and friendly contract(s). For example, Bass gives somewhat decent value as a shooting forward with strong defense, and Bradley off the bench would bolster a backcourt (specifically defensively). Moreover, the cost of Bradley makes a contract like Green's a bit easier to swallow. Ultimately, while I don't necessarily envision Bradley being traded alone, I think a move involving him with any single other tradable piece is much more likely. There is always the outside chance that Bradley may be packaged with green picks for someone like a Brook Lopez. Obviously, a star like Lopez is going to come at a high cost, but with the right offer it brings in A. a top tier player and B. is not going to cause the Cs to win more this year since he is injured.
Matty Mackay - BRANDON BASS - Toss up for me between Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries. Danny Ainge probably has more motivation to move Bass based on his contract, but Hump probably has more value. I’m going to say Bass is not here after the trade deadline, he can add value to a contender and his contract isn’t as difficult to move as Hump’s. Bass can be successful on for many teams that need an energy big with 20 foot range.
Brandon I’ll drive you to the airport my dude, it’s been fun.
Mark Vandeusen - JEFF GREEN - I'm going with my heart on this one, as I'm more than ready to be done with the Jeff Green era in Boston. As much as I like the guy and wanted him to become the star of this team, it's just not happening. He's not a number one option and he's never going to be, but the way the Celtics are currently constructed Green is forced to take on that roll. The sooner the C's can move on from this situation the better.
Mike Saver - BRANDON BASS - There's really no reason for the Celtics to keep a solid veteran role player on a team built with the future in mind. Bass is having maybe his best season in Boston yet and that screams trade value that may not get any higher. His contract isn't too terrible to scare a contender away from bringing him aboard and he can legitimately help a team make a deep playoff push. He was almost gone in the rumored Omer Asik deal, I wouldn't be surprised if Houston tries again and we ultimately do see Bass in a Rockets uniform.
Mike Saver 2/09/2014 11:44:00 AM Tweet