Ranking which Celtic is most likely to be dealt next
We all know it's coming. Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge's cell phone has been on fire this offseason, hounding other GM's around the NBA with trade talks.
After signing second-rounder Jordan Mickey to a guaranteed two-year deal Monday, the C's roster is at 16. One overall the limit of 15. So it's obvious a move is on the horizon, either this summer, training camp, or during the season. But who on the Celts' roster is going to be the one to go? It could be a number of players, even multiple guys in one deal.
So let's rank them in order from five (least likely) to one (most likely). Also keep in mind, nobody on this team is untouchable with Trader Danny running the show:
#5- Evan Turner
Turner was arguably the best Celtic all season, averaging 9.5 points while dishing out 5.5 assists and grabbing 5.1 rebounds. His contract makes him very attractive across the league. Turner is due $3.4 million on the last year of his deal. He would be an ideal bench player on another playoff team and due to the guard heavy Celtics' roster, the former second over selection in the 2010 draft may be the one to go.
#4 - James Young
Young would rank higher on this list, if he showed more potential in the Summer League. But the 19-year-old (say that again, 19-years-old), had a rough time in the City of Sin. He shot an ugly 27 percent from the field, after battling injuries in the Utah Summer League. That being taken into consideration, you have to wonder how much demand is out their for an unproven teenager.
Young certainly has skill, as he showed last season in the D-League. The lefty would be the perfect answer to the C's lack of shooting depth if he could get his stroke going, but with the emergence of R.J. Hunter, Young could be deemed expendable. There could be some interest from opposing GM's who are willing to role the dice on the former University of Kentucky product (I'm talking to you Sam Hinkie).
#3- Jared Sullinger
Sullinger is the so frustrating when he's bad, but fun to watch when he's good. More times than not the bad outweighs the good when it comes to Sully's game.
The fact remains, if Sullinger stayed away from the three-point line, he would be a better NBA player. I don't care about his weight, or motor, he needs to be banging down low. Simple as that.
Shooting 28 percent from distance isn't going to be a factor in other GM's inquiring about the 23-year-old. If anyone feels Sullinger can fill a role in the paint, off the bench, then he could be dealt quickly. The three-year veteran has averaged 7.4 rebounds for his career, not something to overlook.
Like at guard, the C's are swamped at the four and Sullinger could fetch a future first rounder, albeit a very late one. A deal involving Sullinger, and Avery Bradley could be Boston's most attractive package.
#2- Avery Bradley
Now don't get me wrong. I do not want the Celts to trade Bradley. I think he is their most valuable player, and his contract looks easier to swallow ($8 million per for the next three seasons) after the ridiculous deals handed out during free agency.
Word around the league is that players on the C's roster aren't in high demand. The desire for Bradley though was there last season when Ainge reportedly shot down a future first-round pick for his starting shooting guard, who will turn just 25-years-old in November.
Bradley has the most upside on the team. He has got better every year offensively and continues to be a solid defender. Unfortunately, like Turner, Bradley plays a position that the C's roster is stacked at. If Brad Stevens wants to play rookie Terry Rozier, it will most likely cut into the minutes of either Turner or Bradley, if they are still on the roster.
#1- Kelly Olynyk
Another frustrating Celtic, who saw his playing time diminish in the playoffs. KO had a solid rookie year but digressed in his second season in Boston. There's about a 99.9 percent chance that Ainge is offering Olynyk to anyone who will listen. I picture Ainge calling Hinke 10 times a day regarding the availability of Canadian-born forward.
Can Olynyk get better? Physically he may never bulk up, but he has shown a high basketball IQ when given extended minutes. His best skill, passing, could be a selling point in any trade discussion.
His contract would be easy to move. The 24-year-old has a team option at the end of next season, making it painless to cut ties with him if he doesn't enhance his skills this upcoming season. A deal involving Olynyk would be the ultimate low-risk transaction for an opposing teams,