Steve Bulpett did a nice job setting the scene for the upcoming month of trade rumors and transactions in his article posted this afternoon. Obviously the Celtics have depth to spare and are looking to cash in on a dynamic scorer. But if that fails, look for the team to deal from their surplus of big men.
Not only would the team get some kind of asset in return (current or future), but the net impact of getting more minutes for the remaining young bigs could be helpful to their development. In addition, the team could even get a good look at Jordan Mickey, who has been impressing in Maine.
Bulpett: No easy trade solutions to solve Celtics’ rotation issue | Boston Herald
And the feeling is growing stronger here that the C’s would like to get Jordan Mickey on an NBA floor sometime soon. The kid is tearing up the D-League, and, other than exercise and reps, he’s sort of outgrown the larger benefits of the minors. It’ll be interesting to see how his game translates to the next level, and, if the results are as positive as some believe, Mickey’s presence could impact the type of moves the Celtics attempt.
This isn't to say that anyone believes that Mickey is the answer to all their woes. But RJ Hunter, Terry Rozier, and James Young have cut their teeth in meaningful NBA minutes this year while Jordan has not.
In a typical NBA rotation you'd have a clear pair of starters at power forward and center. They'd be backed up by at least one solid veteran and perhaps a young guy learning the trade in limited but regular minutes.
More on Mickey
Celtics rookie Jordan Mickey is developing into the quintessential small ball center
Jordan Mickey is showing that he's more than just a rim protector.
More on Mickey
Right now we've got 5 guys rotating in and out of rotations and starting lineups with fluctuating minutes one week to the next.
Ideally you'd like to package a few of them together with a pick or two for a great scorer. If that fails, you could look to trade two of them for one established veteran with a higher talent level than the current group. If all else fails, I wonder if it would be worth it to simply move one of them for a future asset like a draft pick. Not that we have much need for yet another draft pick on the pile, but picks are currency and you can always move them later.
Of course that begs the question: Why did we bring in Amir Johnson and David Lee if we were not going to move one of the other young guys? I guess the idea was to add experience and load up more tradeable assets. It is really hard to measure how much their veteran guidance has helped the development of the younger guys. We'll find out soon enough if they have any trade value on the market.
So I could foresee a trade at the deadline where David Lee is packaged with someone - let's just say Jared Sullinger - for a backup small forward and a future protected pick. That would allow Olynyk, Amir, and Zeller to share the lion's share of minutes while giving some time to young Jordan Mickey.
Of course there's the added layer of small ball lineups. You could also make a case that the team has too many guards and wings but at least at those positions there's a clear pecking order (for the moment) and the depth has been necessary given the lead guards' propensity to miss time.
Round and round we go with the same issue. Too many good-not-great players for too few spots in the rotation. A trade would help clear things up, but Danny is not going to deal just to make a deal. He has to get good value in return for his assets or he's proven in the past that he's perfectly willing to keep rolling with an oddly constructed roster. There's always the summer.
But before we get there, I'd like to see what pops up at the trade deadline. The rumors should be popping up any day now. Any... day... now.