Thursday, February 19, 2015

Danny Ainge at the buzzer!

Boston Celtics acquire Isaiah Thomas
For a minute there it seemed like the Boston Celtics would stand pat at the deadline.

There's nothing wrong with that, but with an abundance of expirings contracts, trade exceptions and draft picks to play poker with, it was hardly the exciting route to take.

Sure, we had already had the trades of Rondo and Green, and a flurry of moves after that, but when you're 20-31 and smack dab in the middle of a rebuild, wheeling and dealing is pretty much all you have.

What Ainge pulled ouf of his sleeve?

Jonas Jerebko and Gigi Datome for Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun Prince, whose $7.7 million expiring contract was acquired in the Jeff Green trade, has been a steady and stable veteran presence for the Celtics, but it was a public secret that he was either going to be bought out or traded. The Clippers and Trailblazers were apparently interested in his services should a buyout have been reached. Ainge instead found a trade suitor in the Pistons, Prince's former team, who had two expiring contracts to get rid of themselves. Jonas Jerebko ($4.5 million) and Italian shooter Gigi Datome ($1.75 million) should fit in nicely with Boston's young core. If they don't, no harm done.

Isaiah Thomas for Marcus Thornton and a 2016 1st-rounder

Who would have thought the Goran Dragic soap opera in Phoenix would turn out in Boston's favor? With Suns owner Rober Sarver dealing with a crowded backcourt, Ainge swooped in to take Isaiah Thomas off his hands. Thomas, a talented scorer and shooter himself, makes a very reasonable $6.5 million on average through 2017-2018, making him a nice piece for the future, and an attractive chip if it doesn't pan out.
I salute you, Danny Ainge.

Danny Ainge making moves

Other trades that happened: The Miami Heat acquired Goran Dragic for Danny Granger, Norris Cole, Shawne Williams, Justin Hamilton and two first-rounders *** The Minnesota Timberwolves brought back Kevin Garnett, sending Thaddeus Young to the Nets *** The Bucks, 76ers and Suns completed a blockbuster trade, with Milwaukee receiving ROY Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee, Philadelphia acquiring a first-rounder in 2015, and Phoenix getting Brandon Knight ***  Oklahoma City Thunder traded Reggie Jackson to the Pistons for Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin *** The Utah Jazz have traded Enes Kanter to the Thunder for Kendrick Perkins ***  Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee are headed to the Portland Trailblazers for Thomas Robinson, Victor Claver and Will Barton *** The Kings traded Ramon Sessions to the Wizards for Andre Miller ***  The Nuggets also shipped out JaVale McGee (and a first-round pick) to the 76ers for for a protected 2015 first-round pick.

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