Let’s start with the basics.
- Teams are already having conversations. I’m sure Ainge has been talking off and on with teams all season long, but things generally tend to ramp up in late December. GMs are looking to gauge the market and lay the groundwork for their proposals later on. As the deadline approaches, things will heat up as teams get more serious (and reasonable) with their asking prices.
- Rumors always serve someone’s agenda. If two teams are talking and they come to a mutually beneficial deal, there’s little reason for those talks to become public. Generally speaking, if you hear about trade talks, it is because someone is looking to gain some leverage by leaking the details to the media. That could mean GMs, player agents, or whatever. We seldom get the full story, and just about everyone is lying just a little bit (or a lot).
- Trades are hard. Seriously, these things are difficult to complete. It is easy for us to cook up lots of ideas on the Trade Machine. We might even find a fan of the other team that agrees with us. But GMs have a lot more factors in play than what we consider. Long-term strategic goals, relationships with other GMs and agents, real-life personal issues for players (good and bad), and even front-office politics can all muddy the water in trade talks.
- Watch out for fake news/rumors. There is a rush to finding out information first, but don’t fall into the trap of believing anything you read just because it is on the Internet. If you’ve never heard of the outlet that is reporting the news, you might want to wait and see if it is being reported elsewhere before believing it.
With all that said, the Celtics will be working the phones looking for the right deals. So here’s a good outline for what they will be looking for.
- A superstar would be great! This is a very good team, but they are probably one great player away from being great. That’s going to be the most important team need till they find that guy. Jimmy Butler is a guy to keep an eye on.
- Rebounding / paint protection. Guys like Nerlens Noel and Andrew Bogut come to mind.
- Wing and/or scoring depth. Jaylen Brown is still growing into his role, and the team lost some shot creation when Evan Turner left this summer. Adding a scoring option to take some of the load off Isaiah Thomas would be great.
- Nothing is completely off limits. When it comes to a superstar, just about everything is on the table, though parting ways with either Isaiah Thomas or the Nets picks at this point would be very difficult.
- Rotation players. Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, and even Jaylen Brown are available for the right price.
- Expiring contracts. Amir Johnson has a $12M expiring contract. Tyler Zeller has an $8M expiring contract. Jonas Jerebko has a $5M expiring contract.
- Consolidation: Just about any deal the Celtics make would be about upgrading talent by consolidating multiple assets into one or two impact players.
- Option A: Cash in the chips to land a superstar.
- Option B: Make a smaller trade that adds value but retains flexibility for the summer.
- Option C: Stand pat and wait for the summer.
What trades would you like to see the Celtics make? What are your best trade ideas? Or would you prefer that the team stand pat for now? Tell us about it in the comments section below. Don’t be shy.