With the NBA trade deadline knocking on the doorstep, the Boston Celtics have a ton of decisions to weigh in, which could essentially make this the toughest deadline in Celtics history.
Currently, the Celtics sit in utter silence after storming rumors consisting of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce this past week, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t talking trading places with players behind closed doors.
As the countdown begins for Feb. 21, Boston realizes they need to assess roster moves immediately, whether it is minor pick ups or a blockbuster deal remains to be a question mark. Ultimately, GM Danny Ainge will have to choose: go big or stay put.
Doc Rivers and company sit with a 28-24 record — winning eight of their last nine — but when does the train stop, especially for Garnett and Pierce.
This past week there were reports around a trade that would send Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan to Boston for Kevin Garnett (via Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski). If the loyal Celtic does waive his no-trade clause, Ainge must make this move.
Whenever someone talks heavily about the Big Ticket, the characteristic they use is intensified. Garnett has been in the league for 17 years, so when does the fuel in his five-star engine die out?
Boston must look to improve on the fly with many of their core players still in tact. Bledsoe, who turned 23 in December, will be one of the top notch point guards in years to come, and to surround him around players such as Avery Bradley and Jeff Green, could give him leverage to run Rivers’ offense in the near future. Yes, that means if Bledsoe is in, Rondo is out.
Jordan, on the other hand, is an average big man who could turn out to be a stud. His presence down low is incredible. Despite Jordan’s ability to fly to the basket, he does have a conflict at the free throw line and making 10-foot jumpers. But the 24-year-old center does give Celtics something they haven’t been effective with in recent years, rebounding. This year Jordan averages 7.3 rebounds per game.
Another trade out on the surface is Jeff Green and Brandon Bass in exchange for Atlanta Hawks’ long-coveted power forward Josh Smith (via Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times).
The Celtics — Ainge in particular — has always been high on Smith, but to give up two players for one maybe hard than it looks due to Boston’s state right now. Smith is good, but is he worth giving up Green and Bass? I don’t know.
Smith, who is a top tier, explosive player, would supply a lot of leverage for the Celtics. So why would the Celtics want him so badly?
If Boston can’t lure in Bledsoe, Rajon Rondo will be one happy point guard. In his days at Oak Hill Academy, he played alongside Smith. The 27-year-old pro is posting 17.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
Ultimately, this move makes sense and would work out for both sides. Green and Bass have a strong presence complimented with a bright future.
The former Georgetown Hoya is arguably one of the most explosive small forwards in the game. Additionally, in the past 10 games, Green has been averaging a hefty 14.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. His consistency is the most prominent part of his game. Green would give Atlanta a surge they have been looking for.
Bass has the ability to take matters in his own hands, but his position is unclassified which could cause a conflict in weighing his strengths and weaknesses.
The former LSU Tiger has been huge coming off the bench for the Celtics in recent years. The Hawks must look at his abilities to take it to the hoop and to knock down a 12-foot jumper with accuracy.
Boston could sit pretty with a lineup of Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Josh Smith, and DeAndre Jordan or they could stay put. It’s in Ainge’s hands, does he go for the big bang or stay stable. Stay tuned.