Report: Celts & Knicks discussed Amar'e/Shumpert for Humphries/Wallace this off-season - could it still happen?
A little while back, we discussed how the Celtics may be able to help themselves long term by acquiring Amar'e Stoudemire from the Knicks. After all, New York is desperate to rid themselves of STAT, and the Celtics could use that desperation against the Knicks in a prospective deal.
And then last week it was reported that the Knicks were trying to use an Amar'e/Felton/Shumpert package to lure Rajon Rondo to New York. We all lol'ed pretty hard at that one.
But now it's being reported by Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report that the Celtics and Knicks have in fact had discussions involving Amar'e. They took place during the summer, and did not involve Rondo.
Interestingly, according to a source familiar with the Knicks' previous free-agency plans, they and the Celtics actually explored trading Wallace, Humphries and Courtney Lee for Stoudemire and Shumpert over the offseason.
In that scenario, according to the source, the Knicks would acquire power forward/center Kris Humphries and small forward Gerald Wallace, while the Celtics would lose two massive salaries for one, Stoudemire, who the Celtics would have to retain only until 2015 (Wallace is through 2016). The Celtics also plan on "stinking in 2014-15 anyway," according to the source close to the team, so Stoudemire's financial presence wouldn't necessarily hurt them as they have plenty of salary-cap flexibility and can continue to add roster pieces.
Boston deals: Gerald Wallace (signed through 2016), Courtney Lee (signed through 2016), and Kris Humphries (expiring in 2014)
Boston receives: Amar'e Stoudemire (signed through 2015) and Iman Shumpert (signed through 2016)
Zwerling goes on to discuss how the Knicks love Hump's game and also could use Wallace as a back-up to Carmelo.
Personally this seems like an absolute steal for the Celtics. Sure, Amar'e has the worst contract in basketball for the next two seasons. But it also expires in 2015, while Lee and Wallace will make a combined $16 million during the 2015-16 season. The Celtics also pick up the only good, young player in the deal in Iman Shumpert as well. Sure, Shump is a similar player to Avery Bradley. But both guys are very valuable, and whoever the Celtics decide not to keep would have definite trade value. As an added bonus, Boston would get worse for this season as Amar'e is borderline useless and both Wallace and Lee have played big roles on this team. I wouldn't expect this deal to have a huge impact on the Celts record, but it would appear that there is more talent going out than there is coming back.
My question is: why the hell do the Knicks pull the trigger?
I know they're desperate to do anything and everything to make Melo happy..but is Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and Courtney Lee really the combination to do that? All three guys have one thing in common - they're overpaid. While that may help them fit in in the Knicks locker room, I'm not sure how big of an impact they would make on the Knicks ability to make a run. New York is old, injured and underperforming. While this deal makes them deeper, it does very little to help stabilize their issues on defense and their horrific offensive inefficiency.
It just seems idiotic to trade your one good young player PLUS lock yourselves into a bunch of money for the 2015-16 season in exchange for such a marginal talent improvement.
Then again, desperate teams to crazy things. Like trade three first round picks for a 37 year old KG, 36 year old Paul Pierce and 36 year old Jason Terry. And if Danny Ainge can once again take advantage of a New York team looking to make a splash..he'll be one step closer to getting this franchise back to where they want to be.
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