Like it or not, Danny Ainge is probably looking to make another trade this season. He has already dealt away Courtney Lee, Jordan Crawford, and MarShon Brooks, and there's no reason for him not to look for other ways to improve the future of the Boston Celtics.
At the halfway point of the season, the C's are 14-28, but they're only 3.5 games back from the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Ainge is in a position where he can make a trade for a playoff push, or for the chance at a higher draft pick.
To report on the State of the Celtics, I asked our team of writers six questions about the season so far. In the final part of our series, I asked:
If I told you that Danny Ainge is definitely making another trade before the trade deadline, who would you like to see him deal, besides Gerald Wallace?
I added, "besides Wallace," because without that measure, everyone would probably answer with him. (Poor Crash.) Out of seven respondents, the majority answered with Brandon Bass. (Poor Bass.)
Kiorrik: Brandon Bass
I love Brandon Bass. I really do. He's a knuckle-down, blue-collar type player that reminds a lot of Perkins. However, I could see him start to pout if Kelly Olynyk starts getting more and more playing time ahead of him. I think trading him could net us the most value, because he's just solid all around and generally doesn't do anything stupid. Master Po; please, please don't hit me.
Jay Asser: Brandon Bass or Jeff Green
I think what Danny Ainge has done so far has been smart. He's shedding future salary and acquiring assets. The next obvious trade target is Brandon Bass. He has another year left on his contract after this one and he's someone who could help round out a contending team's bench. That would be an ideal trade though. A player that Ainge could consider moving, with the focus being on this coming offseason and future, is Jeff Green. With Avery Bradley being a free agent in the summer and him likely wanting money close to Green's, I don't know if it makes sense to have both Green and Bradley in the long term plan. Frankly, I would choose Bradley and look to improve at the quick forward, a position where scoring is important in today's league.
Tim MacLean: Brandon Bass
I'd like to see Brandon Bass get dealt before the deadline. The reason being is that I believe Brandon belongs on a team that can realistically contend for a title. He's an above average player and a very hard worker. In my opinion, he's paid his dues and deserves to realize a lot more team success for the remainder of his career. I love the guy but he just doesn't make much sense on a roster that's in the midst of a rebuild.
Alex Skillin: Brandon Bass or Jeff Green
Beyond Wallace, I'd say either Brandon Bass or Jeff Green, just because they could bring the Celtics back the biggest haul in return. I don't think either of them are particularly crucial going forward for the Celtics, and if Omer Asik is still on the table at the deadline, I wouldn't hesitate to include one of them in a package for the Rockets center. Bass especially seems like someone who could be a useful piece for a contending team, and I expect to hear his name crop up in trade talks once again before the deadline.
Kevin O'Connor: Brandon Bass
I like Brandon Bass and I think he has improved his overall game this season, but I don't think he has a future on this team, and I would prefer to have Kris Humphries looking long-term. In a trade, Bass could potentially net the Celtics an expiring contract and future draft pick, which would further bolster their collection of assets, and open up the cap space to sign players at other positions.
Jeff Clark: Brandon Bass
I'd like to see Brandon Bass dealt because I like him. Sounds odd, I know, but I think he'd make a lot of sense on a contender and would generate some good return in terms of players and picks. If we can get a potential 1st rounder for Crawford, what can we get for Bass? Totally different situations and Bass has more long term money, but still. I think there are deals out there and Danny is waiting till the deadline to pick the best one that comes up.
Master Po: No response
Unlike 99.9% of this blog, I would NOT work very hard to trade Gerald Wallace. I really strongly believe that unless there is a trade to be made during this season that brings a long term tremendous valuable player to a Celtics rebuild process, then we should trade no one else this season. Danny should hit the road, study every draft pick he can, go to Europe, or EVEN take the D Train to Maine. Danny needs to be ready for this upcoming draft and for the soon to come summer and fall of free agents, etc. to acquire highly skilled existing players and also draft well. I would tell Danny to just leave this current team ALONE and let destiny ride in the saddle until the summer.