We've got a month until the NBA Draft and you generally have to wait till the Finals wind down before the "silly season" of NBA rumors really start to heat up. That's fine because I'm all for giving the teams that have earned their way to a deep playoff run to get their due attention. Still, I do love me some rumors.
You could say that I've been through a few rodeos covering the Celtics over the last 11 years. I've written about so many trade deadlines and offseasons that they all start to run together. They have a certain cadence and rhythm to them; like a familiar song or refrain. It gets to the point where I feel like I can predict what's coming next.
In fact, just for fun, let's do that. Here's my educated guess about the rumors that will appear on twitter, blogs, and news stands in the coming weeks.
"Ainge pushing for a top 2 pick"
Well of course he is. At some point it will leak out that Danny Ainge offered his entire 2016 draft, James Young, and his first born son (sorry Austin) for the right to jump up a spot or two in this year's draft. Of course the Sixers and Lakers won't have any interest in that, so the rumor will die a quick death (but not before some hot takes are exchanged on local sports radio stations).
"Celtics discuss a deal involving Marcus Smart and one of the Sixers bigs"
This one makes too much sense not to be discussed at some point. The Celtics have a surplus of guards and the Sixers have a potential surplus of bigs. They both need what the other is looking to deal. But that doesn't mean that the two teams will come close to a deal. My guess is that we'll hear a lot about Okafor and Noel and Smart (and maybe even Rozier or Bradley) but ultimately both clubs will overvalue their assets a bit and thus fail to find a middle ground.
"Celtics interested in Gordon Hawyard"
Hey, did you know that Brad Stevens once coached Gordon Hayward? Crazy, I know.
Just preparing you for the fact that this rumor is going to pop up every offseason until one of them retires or the two unite (presumably with a slow motion scene where they run toward each other and embrace in a joyful hug set the song "One Shining Moment.")
Of course the Jazz have no interest in losing their best player, so no dice.
"Knicks discuss deal with Celtics involving Carmelo Anthony"
The New York tabloids love a good trade rumor, even if they have to make one up and the Celtics are a natural target for a team trying to offload a star player on the wrong side of 30 who doesn't fit the timeline of a team now built around Porzingis. Of course, they won't take into account the fact that Melo doesn't fit our timeline either. Nor the fact that Melo owns a no-trade clause and he really, really loves Peter Luger Steaks.
"DeMarcus Cousins blah blah blah"
Forgive the lack of clear headline but I've seen so many of these that the words around the name simply don't have any meaning to me any more. At some point the Kings will either sell out of the Cousins business or go bankrupt trying to build around him. The Celtics are a natural bidder but they likely aren't willing to pay what he's worth on the basketball court because of all the other luggage involved.
"blah blah blah Kevin Love, yadda yadda"
Again, been there, done that, got the t-shirt, moved on with my life. Maybe Kevin Love is miscast in his role as 3rd fiddle. Maybe he'd make sense in a larger role on a team like the Celtics. Maybe he just needs the right situation to thrive. Or maybe he is what he is and he isn't worth investing in at this point.
"Chad Ford reports that [insert late 1st round prospect" has a promise from the Celtics and has shut down workouts with other teams."
With so many picks, the Celtics might just promise to pick someone with one of their picks ...provided they still have the pick when draft night arrives. These "promise" rumors tend to pop up in the days leading up to the draft and somehow the Celtics get linked in one way or another.
"Wyc Grousbeck excited about huge (vague) offseason plan"
I really do appreciate Wyc Grousbeck being as big a fan as the rest of us. He gets excited about the possibilities just like a fan. He can't wait to see what Danny Ainge can pull off with all the trade assets and cap room they've worked so hard to accumulate. But he's also smart enough to get out of the way and let Danny do the negotiating and make good basketball decisions. So while Wyc writes the checks and sells tickets, Danny's still the one that has to make the difficult choices.
Rumors leak out every year surrounding the Boston Celtics. Some of them are likely floated out by the Celtics themselves for leverage purposes. Some of them are leaked by agents or teams looking for their own leverage. But I think if Danny has his way, he'll work under cover with a team or two and come up with something that none of us have ever heard of in the rumor mill and few have even considered. Usually those are the ones I like the best.
Your turn: I'm sure I've forgotten some common refrains, so please feel free to add your own in the comments section below. And as always, stay tuned to CelticsBlog for future trade rumors and detailed analysis.