This isn't surprising news, but on a slow day it has me thinking. The Sixers have cap room to spare and are looking high and low for draft picks. Is there a potential match there with the Celtics?
The franchise wants to gain future compensation in exchange for Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. With the most cap space in the league and an open roster spot, the Sixers will consider acquiring an expiring contract from a team looking to dump a salary. But that most likely will also involve receiving a draft pick. As a result, the 76ers are believed to be the most active team in trade talks leading up to the deadline. The Sixers have had discussions with all 29 other NBA franchises.
There's no direct link to the Celtics here, but they do have draft picks to offer and they definitely have a horrible contract they'd like to rid themselves of in Gerald Wallace. NOTE: I missed this upon first reading but the rumor above says that they'd take on an expiring contract from a team, which would rule out Wallace.
Still, I have to ask the question: Would the Sixers take Wallace and a 1st rounder for nothing else in return (or some heavily protected 2nd rounder that will never happen)?
Would the Celtics be willing to give up a first round draft pick in exchange for the cap flexibility of dumping Wallace?
Obviously the Sixers would probably prefer Kris Humphries' expiring contract or at least a better player like Jeff Green or Gerald Wallace, but I don't think the Celtics would give those guys away with a draft pick thrown in the mix as well.
Also, as always, a lot depends on which pick it would be and what kinds of protections would be on it. I'm personally not totally opposed to this idea since I'm of the opinion that we got at least one pick from the Nets specifically because we had to take on Wallace's contract to match salaries with Pierce and Garnett.
So it kind of boils down to what Ainge values more. Cap space or draft picks. This might actually be our first hint at his intentions this summer. If he gives up a pick to clear cap room, maybe he's got a free agent or two he has his eyes on. If not, then maybe he's stocking up for a big trade at some point.
Or maybe, just maybe, I'm reading too much into all of this. Naw, couldn't be.