Saturday, January 10, 2015

Boston Celtics add to their treasure trove of assets

Boston trades Jeff Green to Memphis - January 2015
Green is gone
When the Boston Celtics shipped franchise point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks in December, it became succinctly clear that GM Danny Ainge was serious about stripping the roster.

You can imagine that former Hoya Jeff Green (who failed to live up to the 4-year, $36 million contract he signed in 2012) and veteran forward Brandon Bass (a dependable worker ant who has no place on a rebuilding team) had already started packing their bags when they heard the news.

It appears that, at least for now, "Super" Bass remains a Celtic. 

Green, on the other hand, is headed to Memphis for the expiring contract of Tayshaun Prince ($7,707,865) and a 2018 first-round draft pick. The 2007 No. 5 overall pick holds a $9.2 million player option for 2015-2016 that he is likely to decline, which means it's likely Boston would have lost him anyway.  At 17.6 PPG, he was not quite the leading man the team expected him to be, and it was probably for the best that the marriage ended. 

Still, Green is a versatile forward who can chip in some scoring and be a valuable role player for a Grizzlies team that already has Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph to do most of the heavy lifting.

The Wright situation

Forward Brandan Wright, the key player to come to Boston in last month's Rajon Rondo deal, played a grand total of 86 minutes for the Celtics before being traded to the Phoenix Suns for Minnesota's 2015 first-rounder. The pick is protected 1-12 in '15 and 2016. If the Wolves hold onto it through both drafts, they will then instead send their '16 and 2017 second-round picks.  The C's also received a $5 million trade exception.

Keeping score

Danny Ainge sure is serious about stashing draft picks. Here's what he's working with the next four years:

  • 2015 (First Round): own, Clippers, Mavericks, 76ers (top-14 protected), Timberwolves (top-12 protected)
  • 2015 (Second Round): own, 76ers (if in lottery), Wizards
  • 2016 (First Round): own, Nets, Cavaliers (top-10 protected)
  • 2016 (Second Round): own, Heat, Cavaliers, Mavericks
  • 2017 (First Round): own, Nets (right to swap)
  • 2017 (Second Round): own, Cavaliers
  • 2018 (First Round): own, Nets, Grizzlies
  • 2018 (Second Round): own

Update: The Pelicans have emerged as a third team in the Jeff Green trade. As it stands now, the Celtics would receive Tayshaun Prince, John Salmons and a future Memphis first-round pick, with Quincy Pondexter going to the Pelicans, and Jeff Green and Russ Smith going to the Grizzlies.

Update 2: The deal has reportedly changed again, with Tayshaun Prince and Doc's son Austin Rivers headed to Boston.

Update 3: The Celtics and the Clippers are discussing a deal for Austin Rivers. Boston doesn't want salary back, though. Could a second-rounder do the trick?

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