Friday, April 11, 2014

Celtics Morning Joe: Where Ainge has the assets for "Fireworks"

I think all of us would love to see Boston back in title contention next season. I think most of us assume that Ainge will retool the Celtics this summer, and with that putting them back into the fold in the Eastern Conference. Danny Ainge certainly has the assets to make things happen.

The Celtics have future draft picks, and they can offer those picks in trades. I think the Nets picks later in this decade will prove to be big when the Nets could be one of the worst teams in the NBA.

ESPN Boston

2014 Draft
1st round: Boston, Brooklyn*, Philadelphia**
2nd round: None
* Atlanta has right to swap with Brooklyn; will convey worse pick to Boston
** Philadelphia's pick is lottery protected

2015 Draft
1st round: Boston, Clippers, Philadelphia*
2nd round: Boston, Philadelphia**, Sacramento***
* Philadelphia's pick is lottery protected
** Philadelphia conveys if in lottery in 2014 and 2015
*** Only conveyed if between picks 56-60

2016 Draft
1st round: Boston, Brooklyn
2nd round: Miami, Philadelphia*
* Philadelphia conveys if in lottery in 2014 and 2015

2017 Draft
1st round: Boston*
2nd round: Boston**, Sacramento***
* Boston has option to swap with Brooklyn
** If Boston swaps with Brooklyn, it loses pick if between 46-60
*** Only conveyed if between picks 56-60

2018 Draft
1st round: Boston, Brooklyn
2nd round: Boston

The Celtics have Paul Pierce's trade exception at their disposal as well. I have a feeling that it could go to waste. Unless Ainge pulls a deal draft night, propelling the C's rebuilding process.

The trade exceptions

The Celtics have three available trade exceptions from recent swaps (with expiration date):

" $10.3 million via Brooklyn trade (July 12, 2014)
" $2.1 million via Courtney Lee trade (Jan. 6, 2015)
" $283,000 via Fab Melo trade (Aug. 15, 2014)

These exceptions allow the Celtics to absorb salary without needing available cap space (or using another exception to account for the salary). An example? Let's say the Celtics want to revisit talks with Houston on big man Omer Asik this summer (rim protection!). Boston could offer Houston some draft picks and salary relief while absorbing Asik's $8.4 million cap hit and using part of the $10.3 million trade exception from the Brooklyn trade.

Ainge also has players that he can centerpiece in bigger deals, like the KG deal in 2007.

Al Jefferson returns to Boston on Friday night with the playoff-bound Charlotte Bobcats. Jefferson showed great potential here early in his career, but was the key cog in Boston's pulling off the deal that brought Kevin Garnett from Minnesota. Boston's best young assets now? Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk seemingly comprise part of Boston's frontcourt of the future, but both (more Sullinger than Olynyk at this stage) could be potential centerpieces of a bigger swap (though don't hold your breath on a KG-like franchise-changer.)


  1. I think that with Sully, Bradley and Rondo, we have three fifths of a great starting five. We also have some great bench guys, in Olynyk, Humphries, Bayless, Pressey. Green could be our solution at the 3, though it's still not clear. I could see trading for Asik and pushing Sully to the 4, though I prefer him at the 5 (if he improves his power, especially his leg power). I could see trading for some player who wants to raise his game - not for the guy who is already great, but for the guy who might be great and wants to take the next step - Melo, Smith, Bosh. In my view, most of the guys talking so brilliantly about trading 'pieces' don't get it that we aren't looking for the guys who are already HOF locks, ie. who are proven entities, but instead for guys who are on the verge but need to step their games up - guys in the same position that Rondo and our other key guys are in. What make the KG situation so unique was that it's unusual to see a trade for a guy already established as one of the best. It would be like trading for Kevin Durant. You needed that kind of move because Pierce was so well established, and he needed to see difinitive progress. What we have no is different. We have a team of guys with upside, led by the King of Might Be, Rajon Rondo. For years we've been salivating at the player Rondo could be. Now is the time for him to step up. We have a team full of guys who need to take the next step. Going into next year, that will be the story of this team. Via draft, trade, signing or whatever, we are looking for another player or two to be part of that story.

  2. Melo? Did you never see the Denver Nuggets or the Nicks? Why not just just eliminate having a point guard on the Celtics? The best thing I could see for Boston regarding Melo is to give up a three first round picks to LA if they promise to get Melo and play him 30 minutes in every game.