Nobody has banged the "don't trade Ray Allen" drum louder than yours truly. I'm not changing that tune until I hear a realistic trade rumor that makes sense for us this year and for the future. Even under ideal circumstances, getting a player acclimated to the Celtics system (especially on defense) would be a challenge with just a few months to the playoffs. Ray just fits this team like a glove and I have great confidence that he'll be there when we need him this year.
With that said, I never said never. I'm willing to listen to offers (as I'm sure Danny is) and explore creative ways to improve the roster (as Danny is reportedly doing).
But what would that deal look like? What could move me off my hard line? The answer came from another blogger: Jordan from Liberty Ballers (SBN's 76ers blog). Here's his proposal (not a rumor, just his idea):
Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams for Ray Allen and 2 first rounders.
Here is his rationale:
Based on talent alone, this is a terrible deal for the Sixers. Andre Iguodala is probably a better player than Ray Allen at this point in their careers and Iguodala is entering his prime. Throw in Lou Williams -- who can be a very solid bench player for the Celtics -- and the Celtics win the talent battle by a long shot. However; the Sixers have far more to worry about than receiving equal talent.
In this deal the Sixers have a chance to dump two of their longest contracts for an expiring, saving approximately 72 million. It'd be the first step in hitting the reset button and starting from scratch. That's where the two first-rounders come in. Even though they project to be relatively late first-rounders, draft picks are the best way to re-build -- something the Sixers desperately need to do.
Tell me that doesn't at least interest you a little bit. Even if you are the biggest Ray Allen fan in the world, that trade idea has to give you pause.
One variation to consider would be subbing Kopono for Williams because he makes a higher annual salary (so including him would help the Sixers pay less luxury tax this year).
Before you dismiss this deal out of hand, consider Marc Stein's report from earlier this week that the Sixers are looking to move salary in any way possible:
Iguodala, though, is difficult for Philly to move because of all that money he's still owed. Not as difficult as moving Elton Brand or Samuel Dalembert, but all of the teams that like Iguodala - Houston, Dallas and Cleveland are known to have shown varying degrees of interest - have reservations about taking on a deal that big.
The Celtics aren't worried about signing LeBron in the offseason and they don't have much hope of clearing cap space anytime soon, so why not take on salary if it upgrades the team for the present and future?
The first rounders are of little consequence to me. The one this year would be another near-second rounder and the one 2 years from now (you can't trade back to back years) would likely be late as well (you could always tack on some restrictions if you like).
Iggy isn't going to be anyone's "alpha-dog" or "guy-you-build-around," as evidenced in Philly. However, he's a stat sheet filling, versatile, not-quite-All-Star talent that would fill a whole bunch of holes on this team while adding some much needed youth and athleticism. He's also not a volume shooter, so he could find his role in this offense easier than most big name players. Looking ahead, he would be a nice piece to add to the core of Rondo and Perkins.
I'm not too familiar with Lou Williams or his game, but he's a backup point guard, which is another need this team has. If it is Kopono instead, then he provides some of the 3 point shooting we'd lose by trading Ray.
Losing Ray would be hard, but it might be worth it for a sweetheart deal like this.
Still not convinced? Ok, there's one more probably-too-good-to-be-true scenario that I would love to see happen. What if the financially strapped 76ers decided to buy out the rest of Ray's contract, potentially saving millions in salary and luxury tax savings? Ray would get a 30 day vacation (you know he'd still be in top shape, but with less wear and tear) before deciding that he wouldn't mind signing on with the Celtics for the rest of the year for close to or more than the amount of money he lost in the buyout process.
Yes, this is absolutely a homer trade idea from my perspective, but keep in mind that I didn't come up with the idea. Also keep in mind the Pau Gasol trade. Stranger things have happened and we're likely to see some pretty strange stuff happen in the next few weeks.
Do I really think this has much of a chance of taking place? No, not really. But the point was to show that even the biggest proponents for keeping Ray Allen can be moved off that perch if presented with the right kind of deal. Which is why Danny will always listen to offers.