If our roster was perfectly healthy I'd be perfectly happy with our roster. As it is, there's a pretty good chance that we'll be just fine down the stretch if we get Delonte West and Kendrick Perkins back (even if the latter is only 80-90% what he would be fully healed).
That said, there's still a chance that someone could get hurt. Paul Pierce still hasn't had his annual injury keeping him out 2-3 weeks. Marquis Daniels (Paul's primary/only backup) is perhaps the most consistent bench player if you take Glen Davis (who spent time in the starting lineup) out of the equation. Can that hold up? Shaq is older than dirt and still takes a pounding every time he steps on the floor.
There isn't a lot of wiggle room for trades unless you think someone is going to take Avery Bradley and Nate Robinson and give us an upgrade who's only signed through next year (no way Ainge takes on a deal that is 3 years or more unless the guy is a super-upgrade, building block kind of guy).
So that leaves us with the annual game of "wait and see what cast-off player will accept a buy out and sign with us for a chance at a ring." Former graduates of this school include PJ Brown, Sam Cassell, Stephon Marbury, Michael Finley, and (via trade) Nate Robinson.
So with the trade deadline approaching, you can assume that more names will start hitting the rumor mill.
Gary Washburn reports that the C's had "faint interest" in Peja Stojakovic before word came out that he was headed for Dallas. He follows up with a rumor about Rip Hamilton.
Detroit’s Richard Hamilton would intrigue Ainge, but the Pistons would have to work out a buyout of his remaining $30 million, which includes an early termination option for 2012-13. It seems hopeless that Hamilton and the Pistons can continue beyond this season.
Are there any more members of the 2004 Detroit Pistons that we'd like to add to the team? I kid but this name actually does interest me some. At this point he's a poor man's Ray Allen but that's not such a bad thing. He could run the same sets that Ray does and rest Ray's legs for the playoffs.
Troy Murphy is another guy that is seeking a buyout that would be an interesting name to look into. At his best he can rebound and stretch the floor for us. At worst he could be another large body to throw at our depleted center spot. But will he actually be bought out? His GM says "no" but you know my rule of thumb this time of year: Assume everyone is lying. In other news, he can't get on the court in New Jersey, so I'm not sure he's even worth the effort.
Speaking of not worth the effort, I'm not sure this is worth discussing, but since people are talking about it, lets discuss Ricky Rubio's people's alleged comments.
Ricky Rubio, No. 5 N.B.A. Pick, Struggles in Europe - NYTimes.com
"The bottom line is, why would he want to play in Minnesota?" a senior member of Rubio’s camp said this month. "He’ll continue to say all the diplomatic things, and Minnesota needs to keep his value up for trade purposes, but the family’s preference is to be on the East Coast, specifically New York, Miami or Boston. He wouldn’t be troubled if he has to stay another year."
First of all, this wouldn't even be an option till the summer at the earliest - so I find it hard to get motivated to consider the options. Secondly, I think of this as more of a compliment to our team and our status as contenders than anything. The Rubio Camp Counselor was obviously just naming big name teams on the East Coast and thought of Boston without really considering who plays point guard for us. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing really to see here until someone from Kahn's camp decides to shop the kid since they still own his rights.
So will the Celtics be adding someone to the roster before the end of the year in hopes of adding depth and pushing us over the top? Maybe. In fact, given Danny's recent track record, I'd vote for "likely." But I don't think we'll get a good idea of who that could be until the trade deadline gets closer and perhaps Carmelo finally gets dealt (or not).
For now we'll content ourselves knowing that Perk and Delonte are coming soon to help. in the meantime, we'll see what we've got with guys like Semih Erden, Luke Harangody, Von Wafer, and (down on the farm) Avery Bradley. I'm sure Danny has his eyes and ears open for opportunities, but I don't anticipate anything happening soon.