I await the latest news like Dennis Rodman used to prowl missed shots. I refresh HoopsHype at least 20 times a day. I’m aware of my addiction.
But it’s trade season, and the Boston Celtics oh-so-desperately need to make a move. Until February 18 or a big Celtics trade — whichever comes first — my addiction will persist.
I’m not sure the C’s need to completely overhaul the roster. The rumored trade of Ray Allen and a heap of scraps for Jamison/Butler would be overwhelming and perhaps wrap a bow around a Boston trip to the finals, but I’m not sure the Celtics need such a drastic change to turn things around. Still, if the depressing ordeal that has become the last month and a half has revealed anything, it’s that the C’s can’t win a title if they stand pat.
I don’t care if the current problems hounding the Celtics can’t possibly continue as badly for the rest of the season. I don’t care that the Celtics were two end-of-game plays away from beating L.A. and possibly Orlando. (What would those two wins make them, anyway… 11-11 over their last 22 games?) I don’t care that they’ve only played one game — all season — with their entire 8-man rotation healthy. The Celtics are in desperate need of a shot of adrenaline, an infusion of some new blood, and they could use it sooner rather than later.
Should the Celtics trade Ray Allen? For a resounding slam dunk like the rumored Jamison/Butler deal, absolutely. But if the rumors start to devolve into Kevin Martin or Andre Iguodala territory, that’s when things get murky. A trade for one of those two players might slightly hinder Boston’s chances to win right now, and Danny Ainge seems to be holding on to the increasingly small chance that his C’s have what it takes to win a title this season. And if the trade rumors become Ray Allen for Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons? Or Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas? Count me out, entirely. A trade like that not only hurts Boston’s chances this season, but does little or even nothing to improve the prospects of its future.
Danny Ainge is in a sticky situation, deciding how to proceed with fixing an underachieving and rapidly aging team, but the latest Butler/Jamison talk makes me hope good things are on the horizon. Ainge is sitting on a gold mine of over $25 million worth of expiring contracts, and isn’t going to settle for the Kirk Hinrichs or John Salmons’s of the world. He will be on his phone, working his contacts until the wee hours of every morning, trying to turn around all that is wrong in Celtics-ville. He’s going to shoot for the moon, and if he misses he might still be able to land a star. Or perhaps two.
Nope, Danny Ainge isn’t going to settle for a small trade. Not without a fight, at least. Not when stars might be out there for the taking. Not when he could possibly land Boston the two most intriguing names on the trading block, in one fell swoop. Not when he has the potential to extend the Celtics’ window of opportunity and turn around this season’s fortunes all at the same time.
I still don’t know what Ainge will do, and I doubt even he knows for sure, but I find comfort in knowing he’s searching for an Auerbach-ian swindle. And he’s not going to settle for anything less.
Well, not unless he’s forced to.