[Post your trade ideas in the comments - Jeff]
The Celtics need some help on the bench and most fans want to see Danny make a move soon. There is a lot of talk about picking up players that may be bought (Joe Smith, Marbury) out or are already sitting at home without a job (PJ Brown). But the other option is to make a trade.
We have a full roster, so we'd have to drop someone to pick someone up anyway. You can typically get more value when you make a trade because the player hasn't been tossed aside by some other team in a buyout. Also, in the case of someone like Joe Smith, who will be coveted by other teams, you can secure him without other teams getting a chance to bid on his services. So making a trade seems like a pretty good idea, right? There are 29 other teams out there and a lot of players that could make us a better team. This should be fairly easy, right? Not so fast.
First of all, let's look at our potential trade partners. What we need is solid players who don't necessarily have long-term contracts (no more than 2 years unless he's a real keeper). Basically the kind of player that puts you over the top by filling a role for a Championship squad. No team that is in contention for a title is going to trade away a guy like that. Especially not to the defending champs. So in the East, you can rule out the Cavs and Magic and out West you can rule out the Lakers, Hornets, Spurs, and Rockets.
Thankfully there are a number of teams that have already punted this season and perhaps even next year in hopes of cashing in on the 2010 free agent class.
Next you have to decide what you need and find teams left on the list that have what you want.
I think it is safe to say we need a veteran big man with some length and skill. Most teams are looking for that in some form or another and few have those in abundance to offer up in a trade. Also, we could use some bench scoring either from the wing or perhaps in the form of a backup point guard (depending on what we decide about Pruitt and Cassell).
Finally you need to take that list and pare it down to salaries that match up. This is critical because the Celtics have very little in terms of flexibility this year. I am assuming that we are eliminating the option of trading anyone in the starting lineup. You don't mess with the chemistry that they've developed. That means the most you can take back in terms of salary would be some combination of the bench players' salaries.
Scal is paid $3.2M this year. The next two highest are House and Tony Allen at $2.6M and $2.5M. Even if you combine all three salaries, you only get up to $8.3M and if you trade all three for 1 player, you effectively destroy the bench and reboot team chemistry for the 2nd half of the year. Probably not a good idea.
So your most likely scenario is to take one of those guys (Scal is the most expendable and has the highest salary) and combine him with a player not currently making a big impact on the current team. Someone like JR Giddens or at the most Big Baby (who duplicates what Powe already brings). Still, that means only $4-5M or so to match in salaries with. So that rules out players that would be ideal fits here in Boston like Brad Miller, Marcus Camby, or Chris Kaman.
Ok, got all that? Now, go to the trade checker and make a trade that helps us and would seem to benefit the other team. I'll post some of the best ones as well as a few of mine sometime in the next day or so.