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Looking back at last season's Celtics trades

A lot happened. Here's a refresher.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There's 26 days left till the trade deadline and thus far the Celtics have been pretty quiet on the trade rumors front. Especially when you consider the lunacy of last year's trade action. By this time last year the Celtics had already dealt away Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green and still had several moves to make.

I thought it would be fun to look back at those deals to review how things went.  It is always fun to "grade" trades the day they happen, but the true value of each deal is best seen after some time has passed.

Now, a lot of stuff happened, so last year I scratched together this hand written chart of the Rondo and Green trades and the ensuing deals that followed.

trade chart

Guys like Datome, Prince, Nelson, Wright, and even Shav all contributed something to last year's team but none of them are still with the Celtics now.  Likewise, the TPE (traded player exceptions) have all been used or expired, so they can't be used in trades anymore.

So the long term net gain from Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green are Jae Crowder, Jonas Jerebko, 2 first rounders, and 4 second rounders.

In so many ways, Crowder has been the anti-Rondo.  He specializes in defense and three pointers and he's a natural leader at an early age.  Given the new contract he signed this offseason and the improvement he's made, he's the clear prize of the lot.  Rondo bombed in Dallas and has had a resurgence of sorts in Sacramento, but he never seemed like the most natural fit in Brad Stevens' system.

Jeff Green's talent has always been more enticing than his production, and he hasn't been the missing piece that Memphis was looking for.  Based on what's happened since the trades, I'd probably have been content with getting Jerebko for Green straight up.  Even with Jonas' shooting struggles early in this season.

Now the icing on the cake is the draft picks. It should be noted that the picks are only as valuable as the players we get from them (either in trade or from the selections made with them). Still, if nothing else, they afford Danny Ainge the kind of flexibility he needs to make moves in the next few years.

We haven't even mentioned the trade deadline deal that netted the Celtics Isaiah Thomas for a draft pick.  Here are the details.

Acquired G Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix for G Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round draft pick to Phoenix.

To really appreciate this deal, however, you have to look back and understand that the pick originally came from the Cavs along with Tyler Zeller in exchange for a portion of the TPE acquired in the original Pierce/Garnett trade.  The Cavs were looking to clear space to sign LeBron James and the Celtics turned that into Isaish Thomas and Tyler Zeller (who has fallen out of the rotation but could still be a useful backup center in this league).

So none of this is to say that Danny Ainge will make any moves at this deadline.  Nor does it prove that he'll "win" future trades. But it is always nice to look back and see the positive direction that last year's series of moves took this franchise.

In my estimation, last year's deals sped up the rebuilding process considerably.  The next (and considerably harder) step is to take this team from being good to great.  For that, the team will need to use the Nets picks.  But that's another article for another day.

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