With the trade deadline now just days away, there's sure to be no shortage of reports and rumors and "sources say" articles regarding the Boston Celtics. Danny Ainge is always looking to deal and he's got plenty of pieces he could move.

Steve Bulpett at the Boston Herald put out an article today discussing which players could be swapping their green jerseys for another team's colors once the All-Star break is over and the deadline hits at 3 p.m. EST on Feb. 19.

As it stands, NBA execs are telling us that Tayshaun Prince has the greatest immediate value on the market. He’s on the last year of his contract ($7 million), and, despite a recent hip issue, he’s shown he can still play.

As one source put it, “He knows how to play, and he’s played in big games. Someone hoping to make a playoff run is going to want him, even if it’s just for depth or insurance.”

The problem, according to conversations, is that clubs may hold their breath, keep the second-rounder the Celts are going to want and take their chances that Prince will be bought out if he’s not dealt by a week from Thursday.

Can't say this is totally unexpected. Prince has been a strong contributor when he's been on the court for Boston. He's a champion and can add versatility to a contender. While he was already on a contender with the Memphis Grizzlies, Prince was their starting small forward. Memphis was looking to upgrade that spot and did so with Jeff Green. Any team looking to add Prince would see him in a bench role.

It's also not that shocking that teams are willing to wait Ainge out with the hopes of simply picking up Prince when/if he gets bought out. Why give up an asset if you don't have to? Don't be surprised, however, if Prince is dealt before the deadline. While teams may want to get Prince for free, it's always better to bring in new guys sooner rather than later for the sake of chemistry. Teams may also be willing to give up that second-round pick in order to get Prince's services guaranteed, rather than playing the buyout lottery.

If Prince isn't dealt by the deadline, Boston should hold on to him and not buy him out. That's not to say they should give him 20 minutes per night, but he's already shown a willingness to mentor the young guys, especially Marcus Smart. Keeping a veteran voice who knows how to win on the roster can't hurt.

Bulpett also talks about the level of interest, or lack thereof, in Brandon Bass.

Teams have been talking about Brandon Bass since early in the season, but, so far, no one’s come close to offering anything to pry him away.

“It’s crazy,” said one Western Conference source. “People have seen how well he’s played in Boston, but it’s as if they’ve backed off him because of how he played in Dallas or Orlando. I don’t get it. We don’t have a need for him right now, but whoever gets him is going to like what he can do, even if it’s just in limited minutes.”

Something tells me this exec Bulpett talked to is saying the same thing that all execs are telling Ainge about Bass: "Man, he can really produce, huh? Unfortunately, we don't really see a use for him here. I'm sure you'll find a team for him in no time."

This is a question as old as time itself. How come no one wants Bass? He can produce. He can hit jumpers. He can defend and rebound. Tell me a team couldn't use his skills even if it's for 10 minutes a night. Go ahead. I dare you.

If Bass isn't moved by the deadline, Boston should buy him out. It would help clear out the logjam at the power forward spot and allow Bass to go play for something more meaningful than development.

Bulpett also touches on Marcus Thornton, saying there's no chatter in terms of dealing the sharpshooter. Again, this is strange. Who couldn't use more shooting?

All three of these guys are on expiring deals so there's so little risk and so much reward. Who knows. Maybe things heat up and all three of these guys are gone. The only thing that's certain is that Boston's name is going to crop up about 100 more times in the next few days. It's trade deadline season. Buckle up.

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Eric Blaisdell 2/10/2015 01:13:00 PM Edit
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