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Big Trade Rumor: Ray For Butler & Jamison

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Wizards, Celts in swap talks - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

In a dramatic move that would resuscitate their fading championship hopes, the Boston Celtics are discussing a deal with the Washington Wizards for forwards Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. The proposed deal would send the expiring contracts of Ray Allen, Brian Scalabrine and J.R. Giddens to the Wizards, a move that would signal the start of Washington’s rebuilding process.

The trade isn’t imminent, but talks have progressed and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has positioned his organization to make one of the boldest trade deadline moves in years. For the Celtics, ownership would have to agree to take on an additional $24 million in salary next season between Jamison and Butler. Jamison makes more than $15 million in 2011-12, but most owners are discounting those salaries because of an assumption that there will be a labor lockout and some, if not all, of that money will never be paid to the players.

Sources expected the two teams to talk further Friday and throughout the weekend in Dallas.

Both Boston and Washington still have discussions with several teams in the works, including a potential Wizards-Mavericks deal that league sources insisted was discussed well into Thursday night in Dallas.

Wow.  Just wow.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

Butler replaces Ray Allen's production and we grab Jamison in the mix?  No brainer.  I know Jamison has a rep for being allergic to defense, but I've always liked him a lot and in the right system I think he'd be a game changer.  Bonus points for stealing him out from under the nose of the Cavs.

Man, Danny Ainge is as subtle as a sledgehammer and as timid as a tiger.  This would shake things up in a good way and in a very big way.  It reads like a trade idea from our forums, but there it is in print on Yahoo!'s page.  Too good to be true?  Maybe.  But desperate times call for desperate measures for Washington.  If Houston has hesitations picking up all that future salary, we might be their next best option.

About the only downside I can see in this deal is adding $23+M in salaries for next year, which means Wyc would be opening up the checkbook in a big way.  Still, Butler's deal is off the books next year, so if none of this works out, you can either let him walk or turn him into the next expiring contract Danny could shop around the league.

Some are pointing out the roster imbalance this would create, but I don't see it as a significant issue.  I believe Caron could start at the 2 and give Pierce some rest at the 3.  Jamison would be an ideal 6th man and would give us better perimeter shooting than Sheed and add some rebounding numbers to boot.  Sheed moves to primarily backing up Perkins.  Daniels can still help out at the 2 and ball-handling duties and House can still stretch the floor for us.  I wouldn't be too surprised to see Glen Davis moved for a point guard like Augustin.

Would the Wizards entertain buying out Ray Allen, allowing him to return the the Celtics after the waiting period?  It is possible.  They fit the mold of a team that would be interested in saving some short term cash.  Their fanbase is resigned to the blow-it-up option and they'll have no use for Ray who would only hurt their draft position. Still, I'd pull the trigger on the deal even if it meant losing Ray forever.

Speaking of the draft, I'd have to assume a pick or two would be requested in this deal.  But I'd gladly give them up since we'd just be picking at the end of the first round anyway.

It is amusing how Danny hinted at making a minor trade just a day or so ago and now we have this ginormous rumor.  The lesson as always is don't believe anything a GM has to say prior to the deadline.  Also, take all rumors (like this one) with the appropriate grain of salt.

More analysis here:

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