So, just to recap (deep breath):
The Celtics and Lakers talked about a Rondo for Howard trade but that was before Rondo got hurt but wait that never happened according to the Lakers GM but GMs are supposed to deny everything so whatever and then the Kevin Garnett to the Clippers deal resurfaced this time adding DeAndre Jordan to the Eric Bledsoe package except that the Clippers organization is split on that one and we aren't even sure if KG would waive his no-trade clause and wait, nope, he wouldn't waive his no trade clause, well, probably not unless Paul Pierce was also traded and I guess that idea was mixed into the rumors last night as well and hey, we all wake up this morning and find out that the Celtics are "salivating" over the thought of Josh Smith in green at the cost of Green and Bass but who knows if Danny Ferry would accept that offer of it is just Danny Ainge annoyingly calling him saying "will you do it now? how about now? now?"
You know that feeling you get when you've been sitting down for too long and you jump up too quickly and the world just sort of seems to shift under your feet until you get your bearings? That's essentially been the last 18 hours.
If you were to believe every rumor, I suppose we could end up with a lineup of Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Josh Smith, DeAndre Jordan, and Dwight Howard with a bench of Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and whomever we could get for Paul Pierce.
Or you could happily believe in none of these rumors and assume that nothing is going to happen at the deadline and that the team will keep on rolling with their new-found unity right through to Banner 18.
Or just about anything in between could happen.
Really, we have no clue and I'm not sure Ainge has any realistic idea either. Just the universal "it depends." It certainly seems like he's open to just about any idea, but thinking about something and even having talks about something is not the same as actually doing it.
Some bigger picture perspective first. Let us ask ourselves "why this is all coming out right now?" Did Ainge just put up an "open for business" sign in Houston and let anyone with a microphone listen in to all his conversations? (Hint, that's a rhetorical question)
The real reason all this is coming out now is logistics. All of the NBA and most of the media is converged together in Houston for the All Star weekend and there are tons of reporters hanging out with GMs and "team officials" and there's plenty of talk. We're talking gossip city.
Rumors that are weeks and even months old are being tossed out there for one reason or another. Everyone's got an angle and every rumor is leaked for one reason or another. Josh Smith obviously wants out of Atlanta so his agent is probably doing everything he can to stir up trade talks. Someone floated the rumor about the Celtics and Lakers but when you hear it from someone else, apparently those conversations were long ago. So everything his skewed depending on your perspective.
Think about how much the landscape changes from week to week. This whole year has been a roller coaster with high highs and low lows and nobody's really sure what's around the next curve. Rumors that might have made sense weeks ago make a lot less sense right now.
Of course rumors make for "good copy" too (believe me, I can see the spike in traffic when stuff like this happens - doesn't mean I'm covering it for that reason, but I see it). So anyone with a story to write is going to jump on the juiciest piece of meat and run with it like a starving dog.
Ainge likely has countless options before him and we've probably heard of only 20% of them at best. He's probably got dozens of other things he'd like to do but will have trouble convincing other GM's to do. And that doesn't even cover all the free agents and short term replacement player options.
The easiest thing to do would be to do nothing and add a few live bodies to the roster - if only to help the team practice and eat some garbage time minutes. But does that put us in the best position to win now and in the future? How do you balance meeting the team needs with preserving the legacy of our stars? How much does fan loyalty and emotional attachment factor into the equation (since they are, after all, the paying customer)?
When it all boils down, I can see why Danny's hair is white. This is a hard job and there's a lot at stake. He pulled off a masterful offseason in 2007 and has done the best he could to keep this core competing for Championships ever since (opinions vary on how good a job he's done). Seems like every 6 months he has to make a decision on if he should break up the core or run it back. Eventually the run will come to an end, but who makes that call and when it will be made is not exactly clear.
So, what's next? What will Ainge do this week? What SHOULD he do? I haven't the foggiest. I guess I'm just glad it isn't me making the decisions.
We've got 5 more days of this craziness, so buckle up (or find yourself a nice cozy hole to stick your head into).