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Same ol’ story for C’s: They don’t have enough to get who they want

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) December 31, 2012 Celtics News, Rumors 18 Comments

I hear you all screaming.

“TRADE THIS GUY!”
“GO GET THAT GUY!”

You’re frustrated, which is understandable.  But it’s not that easy.  It never is.

Look… I get it.  Guys aren’t playing up to expectations, and for a lot of you, the natural inclination is to say “get ridda tha bum!”… which fails to take into account the fact that people tend to think other teams are just clamoring to pick up guys who suck.

Beyond that, there are rules in the NBA about trades.  The Celtics have to adhere to them.  And for the C’s, those rules are very strict.  They not only have to match salaries within 125% of the outgoing salary, plus $100,000… they cannot exceed $74.3 million in salaries under any circumstance.  This is a hard cap triggered, essentially, by giving Jason Terry the full mid-level exception.

The Celtics are at about $72 million at the moment.

DeMarcus Cousins makes about $4 million.  So there is some wiggle room in that salary to take back a little more than they give out… but it’s close.

Actually, before I go on, let me just kill your hopes right now.  (h/t CelticsBlog)

Many execs around the league have the Celtics and Pistons at the top of the list of Cousins admirers, even after this latest episode. The Boston Scenario goes like this: surely Cousins would straighten up and fly right if he was surrounded by winners; if he had Doc Rivers barking in one ear and KG barking in the other, he’d have no choice but to give in to the Mystique.

Okay.

Still, the Celtics are willing to take the gamble, according to another league source, and embrace the challenge of keeping Cousins on the right path. But if Petrie can’t add any payroll, it’s hard to see a scenario with Boston that would be enticing for the Kings, unless they’re enamored with rookies Jared Sullinger or Fab Melo as centerpieces of a deal.

Including guard Avery Bradley might get a conversation going, but the Cs love Bradley’s two-way game and have imagined him a cornerstone of their rebuild; Bradley’s rapid development the second half of last season before his shoulder injuries put him on the shelf in the playoffs made it much easier for Boston to absorb Ray Allen’s departure.

In a nutshell:

The Celtics best young trade assets are Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger.  The Kings could have had Sullinger if they wanted, as could most teams, so the thought that they are so enthralled with his talent that they’ll suddenly give up a significant piece of their own puzzle to get him isn’t very realistic.   And I LOVE Sully’s production.  I think he can be great for this team.  But I don’t think he’s been so overwhelmingly great that teams that passed on him are willing to trade for him now as the center piece of a deal.

And if they’re not going to do that for Sully, they’re definitely not going to do it for Melo, who’s had two great D-League games and eight “meh” games.

Which means Bradley is the guy that the Celtics would have to dangle, and they’re just not doing that.  They’ve been dying for him to return.  They’re not giving him up just yet.

Oh, and I know what some of you will do… you’ll build it out to add more and more and more players until it becomes a blockbuster.  I know this because I already see you doing it in the comments.  It’s not going to happen.  And it won’t for 2 reasons:

1) The Celtics are in “win now” mode.  They’ll try to low-ball the Kings (as they should) but a major blockbuster forces the team to start over, mid-season, with half a new team… when having half a new team is already part of the problem.

2) Major blockbusters don’t happen around guys like Cousins.  They happen around superstar players like Chris Paul.  And I know Cousins has the ability to maybe become a superstar, he’s not one now.  And he’s got too many questions about his attitude on and off the court to make an overly convincing case that he’ll fly right for the long haul.

I hate to burst your bubbles (again), but the Celtics just don’t have the trade bait to land a guy like Cousins.  He makes too little money, and a little too much talent, but not so much that you HAVE to put a huge deal together to get him.

Of course, I could be wrong, but my magic 8 ball tells me “All signs point to no” on this one.

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  • Eddie Allen Powe

    You might be right, but somehow the Lakers would see this deal-breaker as a sure thing. Mitch Cupcake can find stuff in his couch that would be enough to get Cousins.

  • Double P

    Yes john, just like the cold water you threw out there in the offseason about no chance we swing a deal for courtney lee.

    No doubt in my mind Ainge would include AB in a deal for cousins, and a package of AB, sully, melo would work salary wise. If the kings bite on that consider it done.

    • LAF

      the kings need a pg. we have a pg who pounds the ball to death and plays no D but is viewed as an all star (lol). both are dicks. their salaries don’t match but the kings would be enticed to deal because rondo, an “all star”, makes *only* $10 million.

      get it done, danny!

  • Clover boy

    Beyond Avery Bradley the clovers have enough to intice the kings to trade DMC. Now the question most definately is would the kings take anyone else but Avery. I say yes. Fab is starting to look like a good pick up. Bass or Lee or even Barbosa could be a good idea to move. One thing Ainge is good at is packaging players or taking on packages and making the money look right on paper. I honestly do not seeing it happen but Ainge is working something out or we all hope right?

    • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

      Bass for Cousins doesn’t work straight up. Bass makes too much. Lee for Cousins straight up works… but do you really think they’d do this deal??

      • Clover boy

        I was just saying those players are most likely tradable. No matter how they do it via multiple team,straight up or even DMC and another player that the kings don’t play to much. Either way I do not seeing it happen whatsoever but Ainge and the front office are flipping magicians or just straight up retarded. In all of the countless years I been watching the C’s I have seen some crazy deals.

    • kg215

      Your way of thinking is exactly what John is addressing. “Bass, Lee, and Barbosa are good to move” “Melo is looking like a good pick up.” Bass and Lee have not played well overall, no team wants them as players. They would only take them as filler right now. Barbosa is useful but a minimum contract guy who is a bench scorer, teams will take him but not trade for him. Melo hasn’t done crap, dominating the d-league is great but it won’t necessarily translate to him being even a decent player in the NBA. Fab could be good someday, but it won’t be because of a couple d-league performances.

  • RedsLoveChild

    This news does NOT “burst my bubbles”.

    Things are bad, but not THAT bad…keep DeMarcus Cancer out of Boston!

    As for Sullinger, he`s in the process of “pulling a Paul Pierce”. Nearly a dozen very stupid GM`s chose not to draft PP in 1998. Pierce made them regret it. Sully is slowly but surely doing the very same thing.

  • frickenWaaaltaaah

    We’re probably going to have to wait a while for anything to happen, maybe all the way to the deadline.

    Everyone with a decent big guy wants to know what Philly is going to do with Bynum. If they can’t make up their minds, it could hold everything up.

  • Sean

    I agree. Ainge pretty much committed to this team for 2yrs.

  • GreenCro
  • WinstonSalems

    Just wait for AB to get back into the swing of things. He’s their best on-the-ball defender and he’s very active on offense. He won’t stand around waiting for something to happen. When he guards the opposing teams PG, it takes them 12-18 seconds just to get the first pass off. Rondo stopped playing defense years ago, this should come to no surprise. The C’s have always had rebounding issues but this has been an ongoing issue since 2009. It’s not the reason why they lost to the Heat last year. They need AB back and healthy. You all see and read the articles about how atrocious the C’s defense is without KG on the floor. The same can be said and AB and his ability to frustrate opposing PG’s/SG’s with their penetration and effective play calling. His legs are still there, no reason why he can be just as good, if not better, than he was last season, before he went down.

  • Errick

    Look bradley being traded is a possibility people so get use to it. point with this guy is tbey have to get rid of DMC. His new agent is amaster at getting people out and we are at the top of his list according to sources. believ me ainge waited for perk to come back and when he started playing good he got rid of him, if putting in bradley allows you to land dmc and through other tweaks here and there it land someone like salmons you tradr bradleys and sullys ass sthraight up without question. believe me ainge knows no loyalty and we have to stop this homer mentality, the reason the lakers get talent its because they trade who they have to get whoever thry want to as long as its not kobe yhis team suvks balls and even though the team themselves believes they aare nowhere near who they were last season and dont believe they can just flip the switch this time a bunch of hopeless romantics refuse to see reality WE SUCK!!!!

  • Jaybahs

    Good! If they can’t win with what they have now then they don’t deserve to win because the talent is there … Coming into this season they were predicted to be the only team that was a legit threat to Miami so … GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER GUYS

  • Rhyso

    Unless an all-star talent is coming on the cheap, i think danny keeps Bradley and Sully. Which means to upgrade the Center position will be made, using picks, Bass, Lee, and to a lesser extent Green and Terry.

    Now i’m not saying we will get much for them, but i think realistically Danny could try and swing for Gortat and take on a bad contract in Beasley as well to even out the trade. Gortat is not the only option.

    I think Lee and Bass still have value to the right team, and throwing in a pick could get a deal done. Examples:

    Lee + Green for Gortat + Beasley
    or
    Lee + Bass + Melo + Pick for Gortat + Beasley

  • brian

    Looks like he wants to come here. Gasol went to the Lakers bynum went to the sixers and paul went to the clippers so anything is possible. We don’t have an idea package but agents and players in the nba have a funny way of getting what they want. I think our draft picks are worth more then our players now but its a players league and the player will end up going where he wants to go not what is best for the team. Iwanna go to Boston or suspend me makes a deal happen pretty fast.

  • piecz

    Get Gortat and Telfair if it’s possible. Telfair would be good as backup PG.

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