The Boston Celtics have been very active in trade discussions the past few days, but could wait until after the trade deadline to add a player whose contract gets bought out. (Boston Herald)
The club is still seeking help on the wing, and as the cell phone traffic eased last night, it was looking more and more likely that the C’s will get their man after today’s NBA trade deadline when players who don’t get dealt are bought out.
Sources say its quite possible an acquisition will come from a group that includes Jason Kapono, Sasha Pavlovic, Rasual Butler and Morris Peterson. But if those players are indeed in line for a buyout, it’s also true their current teams will be looking to include them in deals before it gets to that.
The garbage heap beckons, which reminds me: the Celtics roster really doesn’t need much improvement. Maybe it’d be nice to have an extra big man, but Shaq (and maybe even Jermaine O’Neal) will return to health at some point. It’d definitely be nice to add another backup small forward, but Von Wafer has really stepped up his game and — hey, who knows? — maybe Marquis Daniels will even come back at some point. Delonte West adds versatility, and takes pressure off Nate Robinson (who certainly needed some sort of pressure reliever, and maybe a sports shrink too).
But if the C’s added Kapono, Pavlovic, Butler or Peterson, would any of them become part of the rotation? Seriously. Kapono can shoot the lights out, but he’s a God awful defender. Pavlovic, to be nice, is absolutely, 100% miserable at basketball. Peterson’s a lot more like 2010 Michael Finley than I’d like him to be. And Butler, though solid through most of his career, is shooting 32.1% (that’s not a typo) this season. Are any of those players, despite their ability to naturally play small forward, an upgrade over Von Wafer? No, no, no and no.
The Celtics don’t need much help, but they wouldn’t get ANY from the candidates the Boston Herald is talking about. One name to keep an eye on? Shane Battier. Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely reported that Battier to Boston isn’t happening, but recent reports hint that Houston may have lowered its demands for Battier. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
The Grizzlies had serious discussions Wednesday with the Houston Rockets regarding a proposed deal that would swap second-year center Hasheem Thabeet for forward Shane Battier.
A deal would hinge on Memphis’ willingness to also include a future first-round draft pick in its bid to reunite with Battier. The Griz failed in their initial attempt to acquire Battier earlier this year and may try to enlist a third team to avoid sending the Rockets a pick.
A Thabeet-for-Battier trade doesn’t work straight up, so salary filler would have to be involved (Hamed Haddadi, anyone?). But that’s not my point. My point is: Semih Erden’s a more valuable trade chip than Thabeet, right? Or am I wrong here?
In the words of Zach Lowe, “It is impossible to exaggerate how awful Hasheem Thabeet has been in the NBA.” He has done literally nothing during his NBA career, nor has he shown any skill (besides height and length, which don’t count as skills) that could make him a legitimate NBA player in the future. That’s not opinion. That’s fact, unless you look at draft busts through the twisted eyes of David Kahn.
Meanwhile, Erden has shown some promise during his limited time. He hasn’t always produced at a phenomenal rate, but he has skills and basketball know-how Thabeet couldn’t even dream of. If the Rockets truly were serious about sending Battier away for Thabeet, wouldn’t a package including Semih Erden make Boston a better location? Or am I looking at Erden, a 24-year old rookie who still hasn’t accomplished anything of note in his NBA career, with homer goggles?
Of course, Kendrick Perkins’ injury makes Erden less expendable than ever. So maybe the C’s pass on Battier, even if he’s available. Ahh, who knows? Trade season gives me a headache.