Throughout the 2013-14 season, trade rumors have been at the center of every discussion. As the trade deadline is quickly approaching, we're taking a deeper look at what teams are in need of what the Celtics can offer and what kind of assets the Celtics could be looking for to assist Boston in the rebuilding process.
When he was traded to Boston last summer, I think I speak for all of Celtics fans when I said, “NOOOOO!!!!!!”
Despite the bad taste left from his scuffle with Rajon Rondo last season, Humphries has turned into a very valuable asset for the Celtics this year. His $12M expiring contract is a huge chip that Danny Ainge has been holding onto this season and with the trade deadline looming, it might be time to cash in.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Potential Pieces Involved: Thabo Sefolosha, Kendrick Perkins
Why do this trade? Ubuntu reasons. Sure- most of the Ubuntu Celtics are gone, but whatever! This deal would make Rondo happy, so that would count for something, right? It would be a “feel good trade” to get Perkins back in Boston and it would give the C’s an actual center, but he is owed $9.4M next season. This doesn't make the Celtics any more flexible next season and only slightly improves the Thunder.
Probability of Happening: 10%. There’s probably a better chance of this deal happening with Jeff Green in place of Kris Humphries. It would be cool to get Perk back in a green jersey, but I can’t see Danny Ainge doing this deal simply because of what he is owed next season.
Potential Pieces Involved: Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes
With recent news of Philadelphia shopping Evan Turner and really cranking the tank juice, there is just as good a chance of Boston getting in the mix with Philly as any other team in the league. Boston would receive some youth and some experience in Turner and Hawes, while Philadelphia continues to tank by shipping off two of their better players each of which are in their last year of their deals- Turner is a Restricted Free Agent and Hawes is an expiring contract. If the rumors are true that Boston wants to rebuild around Jeff Green, then Turner could be used in a draft night Danny Ainge special or the Celtics could match any offer he gets should they want to retain him.
Probability: 60%. Philadelphia is cheering for loses right now. They’re getting blown to smithereens in games. Trading Evan Turner would probably get championship parade-like celebrations in the street. It would be a shame for a guy like Humphries who really has been contributing all season to head into such a bad basketball situation, but hey… that’s the NBA.
Potential Pieces Involved: Emeka Okafor
The problem and value with Kris Humphries contract is that it is a $12M expiring deal. This means in any case the most likely trade partner is going to be using it to clear cap space. The Phoenix Suns are in a similar situation with Emeka Okafor, who has been injured all season. Most recently, there have been talks between Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers about possible swapping Pau Gasol for Okafor, but the Celtics could make a similar offer with Kris Humphries.
Both Phoenix and Boston would be a position to “win” this trade should they explore this option.
...as of 1/28/14, the Suns started getting 80% of Okafor's remaining 2013-14 salary covered by insurance. That means the Suns are only on the hook for 20% of his salary for the rest of the season.
That also means that any team to which the Suns trade Okafor would basically be getting him for the cost of minimum salary player.
In return, the Suns could absorb a large contract (up to about $19.5 million full season value) in a simple 1:1 trade if need be. That kind of cap space allows an underachieving, big-spending team to save themselves some huge money this season. Some examples of huge expiring contracts on teams that could want to save money this season are Pau Gasol ($19.2 million, Lakers) and Kris Humphries ($12 million, Celtics).
At the beginning of this season, Phoenix was expected to win 19 games. Heading into the All-Star break their record is 30-21, which puts them in the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Adding Humphries would certainly help them hold on to that spot during the second half of the season.
Probability of Happening: 70%. Humphries started this season in Boston scrapping for minutes behind Kelly Olynyk and Vitor Faverani. Now, he’s a huge part of the bench and one of the best contributors on the Celtics. Trading Humphries has to be a high priority and this would be a great deal for both sides should they go for it. It helps Phoenix win and Boston lose.
Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor
Sources: Dave King, SB Nation
Photo Source: Getty ImagesPadraic O'Connor 2/13/2014 10:00:00 AM Tweet