Seems like we go through this cycle every year. 2 weeks prior to the NBA trade deadline we get reports that everyone is expecting a quiet trade deadline. The roughly a week before the deadline the chatter and rumors really heat up, peaking at a fever pitch the day of the deadline. Then we look back the next day and realize that it wasn’t as big of a deal as we had thought and few teams’ short term fates are altered perceptively.
Still, it is a lot of fun and the cycle is at least an amusing ride. So here we go with the first deadline primer from Shams Charania predicting (you guessed it) a quiet deadline.
The NBA trade deadline is a little over two weeks away, but NBA executives and players league-wide have noticed one dramatic factor in the trade market. Among the 30 teams, there have been just five sellers on the trade market: Four in the Eastern Conference (Atlanta, New York, Cleveland and Chicago) and one in the Western Conference (Phoenix) and possibly a second in Memphis. For everyone else, the remaining 11 teams in the East and 14 teams in the West, the playoffs have been within sight — speaking to the parity across the league.
“It’s supply-and-demand,” one front-office official told The Athletic. “You have most teams still trying to make the playoffs, and so few sellers.”
Jay King has a similar (and I think accurate) outlook regarding the Celtics in particular.
The last time the Celtics had an active deadline, their three-team deal netted Isaiah Thomas, Jonas Jerebko and Gigi Datome in 2015. That feels like several lifetimes ago.
So when Ainge says he anticipates another boring trade season, you may be able to trust his word.
The deadline got a little buzz boost when the Grizzlies decided that they are ready to blow things up for a longer rebuild. That may help the Celtics by providing them a better long term draft pick, but there aren’t a lot of scenarios where the Grizz and Celtics come up with a direct trade.
The Celtics outlook is pretty clear. They aren’t giving up any long term assets that could be used in the offseason to pry Anthony Davis away from the Pelicans. There’s a chance that they could deal Terry Rozier for help, but that’s easier said than done. There’s a chance that a cap cutting deal could be made, but it would be hard to get this roster under the luxury tax without sacrificing depth in a salary dump.
One thing to keep an eye on is the buyout market. Once the deadline passes, players on expiring deals playing for lottery teams will be looking for buyouts so that they can find a role on a contending team for the stretch run. The Celtics could benefit from adding a veteran (preferably someone who can either shoot or draw fouls).
As usual we’ll cover all the news and rumors right here on CelticsBlog. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride!