The NBA trade deadline is at 3:00 PM EST on February 19. CelticsBlog will have you covered every step of the way.
Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green have already been traded. Brandan Wright and Jameer Nelson were only here for a cup of coffee. I just remembered that Shavlik Randolph is on the roster. You would be forgiven for wondering "what else is there to do at the trade deadline?"
I'm glad you asked.
Danny Ainge very well could sit out the trade deadline and still be completely content with the work he's already done this year. In fact, under normal circumstances I might remind you that trades are hard to complete in the NBA and the most likely scenario just by default is that nothing happens. But this is not a normal trade deadline and Danny Ainge is anything but your typical GM.
The Celtics have won a few games recently and are in the discussion for the 8th playoff seed but Ainge has already indicated that he's not crazy about "backing into" the playoffs with a losing record. Once Rondo was traded, it was only a matter of time before Jeff Green was traded and it seems like an inevitability that the same will happen for Brandon Bass.
While teams have been reluctant to make a move on Bass thus far, I think they'll come around with a reasonable offer once the deadline draws near.
Teams have been talking about Brandon Bass since early in the season, but, so far, no one’s come close to offering anything to pry him away. "It’s crazy," said one Western Conference source. "People have seen how well he’s played in Boston, but it’s as if they’ve backed off him because of how he played in Dallas or Orlando. I don’t get it. We don’t have a need for him right now, but whoever gets him is going to like what he can do, even if it’s just in limited minutes."
Tayshaun Prince will either be traded or bought out, so expect Ainge to shop him hard. According to Bulpett's sources, there's going to be a strong market for Prince. The only catch is that Danny loses some bargaining strength because teams know that Prince will be bought out if he's not traded.
The league has become all about "pace and space" so Marcus Thornton could provide a contender with some spacing with his 3 point shooting. I'm not sure if Evan Turner has done enough to restore his image to have value on the market, but he does have a reasonable contract and would also be available next week.
I think if the Celtics had gotten a reasonable offer for any of these guys they'd be gone by now, but Ainge is likely banking on the fact that the trade deadline tends to nudge teams into giving up their best and last offers. Also, when first choice deals fall through, teams will make calls to implement their plan B or C. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ainge already has a few contingency deals outlined already.
Another thing to look out for is the Traded Player Exceptions. If he wants to free up cap space this summer, he'll have to renounce those TPE's, so he might decide to use them sooner than later. That might allow the Celtics to get creative and take on more short term salary than they send out. In other words, they are in a prime position to be the 3rd team in a multi-team trade. Think Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons which netted the Celtics a pick that turned into Tony Allen.
Right now we aren't hearing any rumors leaking out. Part of that is just timing. Teams are doing their scouting and due diligence an will wait to talk turkey till the deadline gets closer. Also, the NBA All Star Weekend serves as a large gathering of GMs, "league officials," and press guys with good relationships with those same officials. Look for Woj-bombs and trade buzz to gather steam over the weekend.