The Celtics came into the season determined to avoid being a luxury tax payer this season, meaning any deal that would jeopardize that this season or even next season, isn’t happening.
That’s why the rumors about Boston being involved with a deal to acquire Houston’s Omer Asik is unlikely to happen unless the Celtics look to make other deals as well.
Although Asik’s salary counts $8.4 million against the cap next season, his actual salary is a shade under $15 million which makes it unlikely for Boston to do such a deal unless they had a taker for one of their higher-salaried players like Gerald Wallace or Rajon Rondo who are due $10.1 million and $12.9 million, respectively, next season.
Boston has not found much interest in Wallace, while multiple league sources contacted on Monday told CSNNE.com that the Celtics aren’t going to get any “legitimate” offers for Rondo until he returns to playing.
A more likely scenario for the Celtics is to pursue a player still on their rookie contract whose potential is of greater value than their present play.
A league source told CSNNE.com to keep an eye on New Orleans’ Austin Rivers who is playing sparingly in this, his second season.
Sherrod Blakely dropped this nugget last night during his in-game hit with the lovely Abby Chin. Hearing Austin’s name linked to the Celtics was enough to wake my from my early evening nap.
The 21-year old Rivers has some unimpressive numbers this season: 10.7 mpg | 3.9 ppg | 37% FG. He did drop 17 points Sunday night against Denver and will continue to see more time now that Tyreke Evans is injured.
I’m all for the Celtics taking a flier on Rivers, but, as in any rumored deal, it all depends on what they are giving up for him.
A late 1st round pick? I initially scoffed at the idea, but I’m coming around.
Think of the upside.
As for the other speculation, I’m willing to bet Gerald Wallace is on this roster for the remainder of the season. I also thought we had moved past the Rondo trade talk.