Boston Celtics: Trade Ideas.

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The Boston Celtics don’t have to improve that much as I said here

Who is available?

Jose Calderon, Chris Kaman, Michael Beasley, James Anderson, Stephen Jackson, Marvin Williams, Ramon Sessions, J.J. Hickson (maybe), Devin Harris, Paul Millsap (maybe), Cole Aldrich (maybe), O.J. Mayo, Chris Andersen, Monta Ellis, Andrew Bogut

So what deals could you make? These trades have been worked on through ESPN NBA Trade Machine

Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O’Neal to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Kaman. However then you need to upgrade the Point Guard position.

Ray Allen to the Los Angeles Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye. Didn’t really work in the Trade Machine, Clippers would have to shed about a million dollars but maybe throw in a third team or send them cash to make it work.

Ray Allen to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis. He would step in, be the Point Guard and might be a better player to try to entice other players to play in Boston. Obviously, throwing in a pick will probably be necessary but it’s still a move that is believable.

Kevin Garnet to the Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia. Not sure Atlanta would do this without another big coming back there way which would mean a third team would be involved, especially since Atlanta is doing so well.

Rajon Rondo and Marquis Daniels or Sasha Pavlovic to the Milwaukee Bucks for Brandon Jennings and Stephen Jackson. Stephen Jackson has a bad contract however and I’m not sure this move would make you better now and could make you worse depending on Jennings and Jackson.

Rajon Rondo to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. The Suns, who respect Nash a lot and what he’s done for them, trade him to a contender and in return get a Point Guard they can move forward with. Being a younger and athletic team fits Rondo’s style better.

You can trade Marquis Daniels and/or Sasha Pavlovic to just free up a roster spot so you could bring in someone else who can make an impact. Who? James Posey, Gilbert Arenas could be options. You also have the NBA D-League and a name the Celtics could be interested in is Jeff Foote, according to CSNNE.com.

Trading Rondo is a risk because how sure are you that Avery Bradley can step in and take over that starter role. Another name that is an interesting one is Monta Ellis and with his 22 points per game and 6 assists per game, he is the guy to take the load off of Pierce. In addition, he is not afraid of clutch moments but has been compared to Stephan Marbury because of his tendency to be a slight ball-hog.

It will depend on if Danny thinks that they need to make some moves to get a better shot at winning a title or to move forward past the Big 3 era. With the expiring deals of most of the roster, I don’t see Danny making any moves that would bring extra money onto the salary cap for next season, not unless he likes the player. However, the free agent pool next season is not the deepest and not filled with many game changers past Deron Williams and Dwight Howard and I don’t see either of them in green. Despite what the Boston Celtics record says, I’m okay with them the way they are. Check what  Danny Ainge said here about the Boston Celtics and the trade deadline. I’m also not a huge fan of the ESPN NBA Trade Machine because as long as the salaries match up you can make any trade successful but it is a good idea by ESPN so can’t blame them for having it.

NBA Trade Deadline is March 15th at 3 P.M. EST.

UPDATE: Leondaro Barbosa, Andray Blatche, Armon Johnson are also on the trade block. Also according to a New York Post article the Celtics have shown at least some interest in Timberwolves SF Michael Beasley.

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Boston Celtics: To blow it up or to not blow it up.

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So will Danny Ainge, President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, blow this up with the lack of consistent play from the Celtics? On the other hand, will he wait and see if they can get it together? After all Boston’s Big 3, which consists of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnet are not getting any younger and Rajon Rondo is not developing into that all-around Point Guard that they might have hoped. However, this is one of the better benches that they’ve had since the Big 3 era began with the key additions of Mickael Pietrus, Brandon Bass and Chris Wilcox. In addition, the draft picks have worked out; both E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson have played very well in the time they’ve earned thus far. In addition, Greg Stiemsma has contributed, mainly with his knack for blocks.

So far, Rajon Rondo’s numbers are slightly up but it is good. Shooting percentage, 3-point percentage, and free throws are all up just a little. However, free throws are up from last season he still needs some work to get back to 65%, which he shot during his first season. His points per game are at just about 15 and assists per game is still hovering around 9-10. Paul Pierce’s numbers have taken a slide but that could be just a side effect of his slow start and injury that started the season. Ray Allen is around the same that he always has been with his numbers except his points per game is down to 14. Kevin Garnet has sort of rediscovered his 3 point shot but still the Celtics are in the bottom of the playoff seeding. So what is missing? Why are they losing?

Well it could be other teams’ defenses tightening up on Paul Pierce and Ray Allen or lack of offensive rebounds; I mean it’s like a disease to them honestly. It could also be the lack of penetration (shut up you know what I mean) and not getting to the line or the condensed schedule but I think it’s just a little bit of all of them. If I was coaching another team, I would tell them to play Pierce and Allen tight and focus on the boards cause the Celtics won’t fight for them but that’s basic I think because I have seen it in most games thus far.

Rondo makes this thing go but he is the biggest piece that you have in order to get the team back to the top so what do you do? Do you hope that Rondo will improve with a more athletic team, or surrounded by a team that he thinks are his equals and not hall of famers? Rondo would benefit from a younger, more athletic team but everyone knows that and it has been said many times on CSN during games or online sites. If you do plan to blow this thing up or making moves to give you a better shot at a title what do you do? Well you have to look at some underachievers on the bench right now in Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic maybe you upgrade them. However, Pavlovic has some potential to play much better than he has and really needs to step it up because he is a better play than Marquis. Maybe giving more time and more confidence to Greg Stiemsma or move him? You have James Posey, Leon Powe and some others available but are they an upgrade over Marquis, Pavlovic and “The Steamer”? No, except maybe Posey over Daniels but that’s a coin flip really.

I think you do not blow this up and stand pat with what you have on your roster. It’s a good roster and has some potential to be better. This team is better than its record and while they are not real title contenders, they have a chance to steal a title. You have to get better with rebounding, they aren’t the flu, go after them and you have to get better on the offensive side of the ball somehow. Whether it is through adjusting rotations, starting lineups or just something to increase the energy. Rondo cannot be afraid to go to the line, which so far he hasn’t been, and he must take more of the offensive load. This is his year to prove himself, that Danny can put a team around him next season, and they will succeed. I don’t know why Rondo “can’t shoot” but 2 years ago he did very well facing off against Kevin Durant in the finals of the H.O.R.S.E. competition after it coming down to 3 point shots and he did shot after shot (check you tube, I kid you not). In addition, this year he landed second in the Skills Competition and one of the reasons was not because he fell short at the shooting station. (Actually, in the finals Deron Williams fell short at that station)

I still think that minutes played and Rondo’s fear of going to the free throw line was one of the main reasons they lost against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in 2010. You can blame the refs and you can blame the rebounding but it was conditioning. Anyway, they cannot let that get in the way this season and like I said, they have a chance to maybe sneak into the NBA Finals and steal a win but honestly, I see them as a second round elimination. Danny has put his pieces where he wants them and at the end of the year, this team will be “blown up” so why not just stand pat and see where it goes. Maybe a minor tweak if you want but I would not make any huge moves like those that he did last season, which was a mistake.