The trade deadline has passed, and the only alteration made to the Boston Celtics' roster was the addition of #55 Greg Monroe, who played his first game in green last night in the team's overtime victory over the Washington Wizards. Monroe finished the game with 5 points on 2-of-5 shooting, 6 rebounds (2 offensive), 2 assists, and two steals.
Leading up to the deadline, the word on the street was that the Celtics were interested in trading away Marcus Smart, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.
The Celtics are chasing that extra first-round pick in Marcus Smart trade talks in hopes of flipping it in a deal for either Lou Williams or Tyreke Evans, league sources say
Celtics' General Manager Danny Ainge, didn't contradict the rumors, but insinuated that the gossip may have been over played. He also hinted at a potential re-signing of Smart this offseason, when Marcus hits the market. According to the Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach, on Smart, Ainge said:
I never really thought that we would move him, and nothing ever came close. We love Marcus and feel like he has a future with us. I’m really looking forward to getting him back healthy, and I think he’s going to have a terrific second half of the season.
If the Celtics want to adjust their roster any further this season, they'll have to add someone from the buyout market. A few players who are expected to to fall into this category, and who the Celtics are expected to look at, are the Sacramento King's Joe Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks' Marco Belinelli.
Marco Belinelli is finalizing a buyout agreement with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources tell ESPN. Several contenders are interested.
As far as I'm concerned, if the possibility to sign either Johnson or Belinelli arises, then the Cs should pursue it. I mean, might as well. Their contracts will only be for the remainder of the season, and when the team needs the money this offseason, they'll be off of the books. I don't think it will hurt to add more depth to this already deep roster, and both players would contribute immediately.
But Danny Ainge didn't seem to echo my thoughts. On the buyout market and the Celtics' plans, he said:
I don’t feel like we need to [sign a player after a buyout]. We have a full roster. We like our guys. The continuity is a good thing also. So if there’s a good deal out there for us, then we’ll explore it. But I don’t feel like we have any major holes.
If anything, not signing anyone is a tribute to this roster's depth. While another scorer would be nice, there isn't an area on this team that needs to be improved drastically.
The Celtics are looking pretty to make a run at the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and with the Cleveland Cavaliers revamping their lineup at the deadline, we should be expecting a spicy meeting with our eastern rivals.
But let's take it one game at a time. Tonight, the Celtics will face off agains the Indiana Pacers in the second game of a back to back. Let's hope that the Cs have fairly fresh legs after last night's overtime win against Washington.