One thing that Danny Ainge mentioned about the Rajon Rondo deal is the timing of it.
"The timing and the market was well thought out and calculated," said Ainge. "You never know what may be available, but I think we had a pretty good feel for the teams that had interest, and consistent interest, over time and we thought all that through — timing and deals."
I think that is a very, very important item to take note of when considering Ainge's future moves. You see, by trading Rondo by December 19, Ainge will have the ability to package any of the guys that we got in a deal at the trade deadline.
To be more specific, via the Larry Coon FAQ, a player cannot be traded...
For two months after receiving the player in trade, if the trade aggregates the player's salary with the salaries of other players. However, the team is free to trade the player immediately, either by himself or without aggregating his salary with other salaries.
Translation: We can trade Wright or Crowder or Nelson by themselves at any time. We can only combine them with other assets after 60 days - or basically right at the trade deadline.
Now, this could simply be another move to maintain flexibility. Maybe we'll just be using one of those guys to match salaries in another asset acquisition deal. Or perhaps, maybe, possibly, we'll be looking to be buyers at the deadline.
At least that's the thought that Chris Mannix had on CSNNE (see the video for his full thoughts):
With all of the draft assets that Danny Ainge is stockpiling, SportsNet Central's Chris Mannix suggested that Ainge might be preparing to bring a star to Boston before the trade deadline. And that the drama in Boston could only be starting for the C's.
Granted, I'm not sure why the Celtics would go out and grab a star player at the deadline AND trade away Rajon Rondo. But if they really didn't think Rondo was sticking around this summer, it could make some sense.
I still think it makes more sense for them to do the major revisions to the roster this summer. But having the flexibility to make a major move at the trade deadline is an important element to keep in mind.
Update: Here's how Ainge describes his position.
“This isn’t really much different than before,” Ainge said, referring to a series of drafts that led to deals for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. “It wasn’t like we didn’t try to do in ’05 and ’06 what we did in ’07. “Those are things that we’ll always try to do, and I think that we have more assets now than we did then. We don’t have a Paul Pierce under contract, but we do have a lot of young players that have a lot of value and interest around the league. And this year’s end, we’ll for the first time have (salary cap) space, a trade exception, draft picks . . . and options. We’ll have choices. And the decisions we make, are very, very important. “So I have to be patient,” Ainge said. “I can’t panic. I can’t rush it. I’ve got to make the best decisions on those things that are put before us. So my mindset is to do what’s best for the long-term benefit of the Boston Celtics.”
Buckle up folks, this could get very interesting.