The transactions are really flyin' huh?
There are all sorts of trades being made right now… and as of the moment, the C's have not joined in the fun. Of course, it's not because they don't want to. It's because they really can't. As we've said a million times already… they just don't have much to offer.
So when we see reports like the Cavs looking for Semih Erden as part of a package for Anthony Parker… we have to pause. Would the Celtics trade away a decent young big man for an old swing man just to fill a hole for the rest of the season?
Well, it depends.
The C's stumbled onto a bit of a gem with Erden. He was drafted years ago and allowed to develop overseas in his native Turkey. Now, after some seasoning and tutelage from some of the best big men to play the game, Semih is a decent contributor. He has shown a toughness that will serve him well over his NBA career. He's still quite prone to turnovers and he hasn't exactly been owning the boards… but he's show enough ability to contribute so far to make you think he'll be a solid back-up in this league.
And really, how many solid back-up bigs are you going to find out there? In fact, take "back-up" out of that last sentence and it still holds. They don't come along often.
But then again, neither do chances to win an NBA title. And despite how great we think this team is, the Marquis Daniels injuries leave a sizeable hole in the roster. Without a solid back up to Pierce, the C's are a bit hosed if the Truth gets into foul trouble (or worse). So if they're really going to make a run… they're going to have to figure something out.
Which leaves us at that age-old trade deadline debate: Do you try to win now and figure the rest out later… or do you maintain your future and hope you can cobble something together now to finish the job?
I have always been a "win now" kinda guy. I've seen promising teams fail to live up to expectations. I've seen shouldas and couldas fall by the wayside. I've seen teams blinded by the light of being so close to a championship that they don't see the gaping holes in front of them that will prevent them from reaching their goals. All too often, teams are reluctant to give up the promise of what could be, simply because they romanticize the future.
Hell, we've all done it. Haven't you met someone, somewhere in your life that you daydreamed about? Haven't you started a job somewhere that you thought would make you happy for life? Didn't you once see a gadget somewhere that you just had to have? And how often do those things not turn out how you expected? How many times did that person turn into a real loser, or that job become a pain in the ass, or that gadget get lost in the junk drawer?
We envision futures without regard for the obstacles that could derail the daydream. And we do the same with guys like Semih. Because he's a "promising young big man," we just assume that he will continue to grow, and learn, and erase the mistakes he's making now. It's not at all unrealistic to expect those things, but it's not at all guaranteed either.
Of course, trading for Anthony Parker won't guarantee anything either. But my point here is not to be open to trading Semih for Parker, specifically. Its that we should be open to trading Semih for someone, if that person is the right fit for this team.
And to be clear, I don't WANT to trade Semih. I'm buying into the same promise as everyone else. I think he can ultimately have a good career being a 15-20 minute back-up center that gives a team some decent production. But that's just a guess. And we can't say for sure that will happen.
But we can say for sure that the Celtics are one of a handful of teams with legitimate shots at a parade before going home for the summer. And we can say for sure that not getting some help for Paul Pierce now could really burn him out come playoff time. So I'm perfectly willing to give up what might be in a few years for what we need right now. If Semih Erden… or Avery Bradley for that matter, is that one piece of any value that could go to another team for a good back up to get the C's what they need right now… then they've really got no choice but to make the move.
(h/t Celtics Town for the link)