Mid December is generally when you start to see some trade rumors ramp up. Teams have had a few months to get a feel for what their team is capable of and what needs they still have. Rajon Rondo was traded around this time 2 years ago.
In fact, there’s a window of time after the 15th and before the 23rd where it makes logistical sense to make a deal. The 15th is the date when teams can trade most of the free agents that were signed this past offseason (so there are more players eligible to be moved). The 23rd is the deadline for teams to acquire a player and trade him again in combination with another player before the trade deadline. (see more here)
So we could see some trades happen this week, right? Well, don’t hold your breath just yet.
As Bobby Marks points out, there are a few factors that could dissuade teams from making a move right now.
They are still in the evaluation period and are not ready to make significant changes.
Also, a trade that could be on the table soon after Dec. 15 would likely be available in mid-January or near the trade deadline Feb. 23.
And teams such as the Nets and Mavericks, who could be sellers in February, will only see the value of their players increase as the deadline nears.
Another factor is the upcoming CBA negotiations. Teams don’t know what the future trade and salary cap rules will be so it makes it difficult to evaluate deals. The Celtics in particular have to be careful about what kind of salary they sign themselves up for if they want to maintain any cap flexibility for this summer and beyond.
So what changes are the Celtics concerned about in the new CBA? A couple of things.
Most notably, of course, are changes to the salary cap. But changes to maximum contracts would also play a role. As of now, the Celtics have (just barely) enough room to bring in a max contract this summer without giving anything up, although filling out the rest of their roster would be borderline impossible without making other moves. You can also bet that they would like to take a look at what changes might be pending to contract extension rules down the road, with Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown showing more and more flashes of potential. If building a championship contender with the current core proves impossible, they can still build with a youth movement, assuming -- again, here's that word -- that they maintain their flexibility.
So while in a vacuum it would be wonderful to add a rebounder or rim protector some other missing piece to this puzzle, there are a lot of long term moving pieces to take into consideration first.
Speaking of rim protectors, one interesting note on the Woj Report podcast was that teams are making calls about Nerlens Noel and not hearing great things about the way he’s approached things and handled himself in Philly.
The research teams have done on him is not good. Their intel of how he’s carrying himself there, of his habits, is not a great return. There are teams willing to do a deal for him and bring him in, but they don’t want to give up much.
The Celtics are always going to be eager to add a star player when one becomes available, but I don’t think a lot of teams are going to be ready to throw in the towel on a star of any magnitude this early in the season. For example, the Kings would be happy to offload Rudy Gay for a decent return, but probably not DeMarcus Cousins just yet.
Teams might be more willing to make a move in the offseason. For example, according to a report today from the Chicago Tribune, the Jimmy Butler talks on draft night were real.
But make no mistake: Following the Derrick Rose trade, the internal draft-night debate on whether to trade Butler to the Celtics was real. And the Bulls, according to multiple sources at the time, held advanced discussions with the Celtics centered on Butler and the No. 3 overall pick.
The only thing we’ve heard regarding the Celtics thus far has been their interest in Andrew Bogut. Per Marc Stien:
Boston has already emerged as a team interested in trading for Dallas center Andrew Bogut and here’s another one that makes sense: Portland. The Mavericks have yet to make Bogut available for potential deals, per ESPN’s own Tim MacMahon, but the Blazers are a natural suitor given their clear need for a defensive anchor at the rim as the league’s 30th-ranked defense as of Friday morning.
Other than that, we haven’t heard a peep in terms of legit trade rumors involving the Celtics this season. Stay tuned though. Sometimes you hear rumblings for weeks before a deal goes down and sometimes it comes completely out of left field. I guess you’ll just have to keep checking with us here on CelticsBlog.