Rumored Anthony Bennett deal also helps Celtics in other ways

One of the NBA rumors floating around today is a trade between the Celtics and the Timberwolves. Compared to the others, this one is like the stale roll at the all you can eat rumor buffet, but there may be more benefit to the Celtics than initially meets the eye.

At first glance the deal appears to center on the Celtics acquiring former number 1 pick Anthony Bennett. While Danny Ainge is not afraid to take on a player that other teams have soured on (credit his faith to Brad Stevens and the culture he has created), this potential move may be as much about Bennett as about what is rumored to be surrounding him in the deal.

The proposed deal would have the Celtics trading their 28th pick for Bennett, as well as Minnesota's 31st and 38th picks, according to Jake Fischer. You may think the last thing the Celtics need are more draft picks, but there is a method to the madness.

The cost of 1st round picks is much higher than 2nd round picks, not least of all because they come with guaranteed salaries. The 28th pick that currently belongs to Boston is guaranteed $924,800. Since there is not much talent differential between late first round picks and early to middle second round picks, avoiding the guaranteed salary would keep the Celtics cap space much more flexible.

As far as Bennett goes, like previously mentioned, Ainge has no qualms about trying to salvage a player if he thinks a new environment would benefit them and the cost is low. With Bennett's price being so low, and the added savings in trading down into the 2nd round (assuming those aren't packaged in any of the uncountable trade rumors that would ensue) it might make Danny interested.

Bennett is owed $5.8 million in 2015-16, but the 2016-17 season is a team option, so essentially it would be a one year flyer on a former number 1 pick. I don't know how much Bennett really has to offer, but it's a short contract that would come off the books if he is a disappointment, about as low risk as you can get.

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