Just about every Celtic has been rumored to be on the block the last few days as today’s 3 pm eastern NBA Trade Deadline rapidly approaches. I’ll try to keep you up to date as anything changes or gets reported throughout the day, so check back for details.
Here’s the latest:
Update 3:30 pm
As a slew of deals get reported following the deadline, word has just come through that Boston has sent C Jason Collins to Washington as part of the deal. His contract, which was only for $1.35 million this season, expires at the end of the season. This gives Washington and Boston a tiny bit more cap flexibility, and may mean one phenomenal thing for the Celtics: THE FAB MELO ERA HAS BEGUN!! Of course we’ll have to wait and see how Doc Rivers handles his roster, but, for now, things look promising in terms of playing time for Melo who you’d think would at least get Collins’ minutes – an increase from what he’s getting now.
Update 2:40 pm
Only 20 minutes remaining until the 3pm eastern deadline. Nothing new has come up about the Celtics, but as Bill Simmons tweeted “actual deals rarely get leaked as rumors before they happen.” It’s been silent on the KG/Pierce fronts for the most part. Could mean nothing is happening, could just mean no one has gotten off the phone to leak anything to a reporter. Ainge could be in process of getting Garnett to waive his no trade clause. Personally, I don’t think anything else major will go down for the Celtics, but we’ll see.
Update 2:03 pm
The Celtics will send only Leandro Barbosa’s expiring contract to Washington for Jordan Crawford, per reports. GREAT deal for the C’s. Really a steal.
We have a trade! The Celtics have reportedly acquired Jordan Crawford from the Wizards, although, unlike previous reports, it looks like Fab Melo is NOT part of the deal. We’ll see what is sent back to Washington, but right now I love this deal. Crawford is solid bench scoring for the Celtics, and they get to keep Melo. I still think there could be more to this, but without Rondo and Barbosa the C’s are somewhat short at guard. Stay tuned.
Update 1:22 pm
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that talks between the Celtics and Wizards for guard Jordan Crawford are heating up again. Same players as before – Fab Melo would likely go in the deal.
I don’t quite understand this trade, unless it’s a precursor to something else. Maybe there’s an unmentioned third team and this is part of a bigger deal for Atlanta’s Josh Smith? Could Crawford be part of another deal and swung somewhere else so Ainge doesn’t have to give up more than he wants to? Maybe Crawford goes to New Jersey in a Pierce deal as well, and they send the extra first rounder he wants in exchange for Melo and someone from the Nets. We’ll see how this plays out.
Update 1:10 pm
David Alridge from TNT is reporting the Clippers are unlikely to make any big deal today, saying the team likes their chemistry and depth and wants to preserve that. That most likely means management feels that way, but if your head coach and superstar point guard are calling for a trade, I’d question that chemistry. Garnett undoubtedly helps them, although I was personally shocked to hear of Jordan being involved. He had lots of potential, but hasn’t seemed to find it. Garnett would help him, but he’ll likely be dealt in any deal for KG. We’ll see.
Update 12:30 pm
Kevin Garnett to the Clippers has been back and forth and changed about a million times at this point, but there’s new life. The back story is that KG was originally rumored to be on the table for backup PG Eric Bledsoe and SG Caron Butler. That was shot down fairly quickly. Then, over All-Star Weekend in Houston, the deal resurfaced, but this time for Bledsoe and talented young center DeAndre Jordan, who has what’s left of a $40 million contract left. A bit pricey, but talented and still cheaper than Garnett. Rumor said Clipper’s coach Vinny del Negro would love to have Garnett for Bledsoe and Jordan, but management wouldn’t do it so it was called off. Now, the Herald’s Steve Bulpett says things are heating up again, and other rumors report Chris Paul has asked for Kevin Garnett. KG would have to waive his no-trade clause for any deal to go through.
Paul Pierce has also been thrown around quite a bit, as reported last night. According to sources, Boston was the one who initiated that deal to Brooklyn, and they were considering it. Boston reportedly wanted an extra player and draft pick, which staled things. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix is reporting that Ainge is not simply trying to dump Pierce, but looking for expiring contracts and draft picks as well, a steep price that likely won’t be paid. Nothing is out of the question though, and if teams get desperate, he may get his asking price.
ESPN’s Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) is reporting via Twitter that the Celtics are pursuing Tyreke Evans of the Sacremento Kings, a former 4th overall picks and very talented guard. My guess is that young big man Demarcus Cousins would be involved in any deal as well, but that’s purely speculation. The Kings have been in sort of a fire-sale the last few days, so you never know who could be available and how cheap they might come.
Just after Stein tweeted that though, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that both Evans and Cousins had been given the impression that they would not be traded. We’ll see what happens.
The Celtics have also been rumored to be interested on Wizards scoring guard Jordan Crawford. In his third year in the league, Crawford is shooting a healthy 43% from the field, but is probably best known for his dunk on Lebron James that Nike didn’t want anyone to see.
If any deal is done for Crawford, it would probably be for Fab Melo and Leandro Barbosa, according to sources.
Also, if you missed it, USA Today claims that Rajon Rondo‘s agent has been assured by Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge that he will not be traded.