Tuesday, December 13, 2005


one man's trash is another man's Celtics roster

It’s a bit early, but trade talk is always a fun exercise, and with Artest being put on the public trading block it might be interesting to evaluate the trade value of our current Celtics squad. Granted, this is somewhat akin to searching for spare change underneath your car seat on a hung-over Sunday morning when you already know there's nothing there but empty soda cups and moldy cassette tapes, but what the fuck, it's a free read.

Before we begin, two caveats:

1) I do not think Ainge will make a significant trade this year.
2) I say this hoping to be proven wrong.


Ricky Davis – Ricky leads the pack because his modest contract and impressive offensive numbers are the sorts of things that other GM’s look at and say, “why the fuck not?” Ricky could conceivably be packaged with one of our albatrosses for cap relief, traded straight up for a disgruntled Earl Watson type, or packaged with our young, spare parts for a name player (Lamar Odom anyone?). In all likelihood, he will stay, but his value has certainly reached its zenith and if Ainge is looking to make a splash, Ricky is one of the few guys he can throw in the pool.

Al Jefferson – I would imagine that Al’s name is mentioned in every conversation Ainge has with other GM’s, and of course we assume Ainge views his inclusion as a deal breaker. Al is a big, highly gifted 20 year old with touch around the basket, making squat over the next three years. He straddles the line between “prodigy” and “project” in a way that makes him intriguing to the rest of the league, and maddening to those of us who see lots of shortcomings. Nonetheless, as of this moment Big Al is The Future, and we assume he is untouchable unless the names Garnett, James or Brand are in the conversation.

Paul Pierce – Pierce is a trade conundrum, as are all B-list superstars (ie – max contract, marketable, but not a true franchise player). Vince Carter, Baron Davis, and Steve Francis are all in Pierce’s category, and each one of them was traded over the past two years. In two of those three cases, however, their teams were willingly fleeced just to be rid of them, and only in Francis’ case was another (much better) all-star involved. A Pierce deal would be complicated by two basic facts 1) any team that could use Pierce to “put them over the top” is not going to have anything worthwhile to offer in return, and 2) a losing team is not going to trade young talent for a guy who cannot immediately turn their franchise around. For all of the hoopla surrounding Pierce’s resurgence this season (hoopla we have been part of), he’s still not ever going to be a Kobe or Tracy McGrady type GM’s will overpay to have on their team. I can’t see him being traded because I don’t think ownership could stomach the heat for getting 50 cents back on the dollar, but if he goes I am convinced it’ll be to Sacramento, Chicago or Denver.

Gerald Green – ironically, his value may have been at its peak on the same night he slid 15 spots in the draft, but who wouldn’t want to take a flier on a guy who can shoot, dunk, and been compared so often to Tracy McGrady that some fans might even take it seriously. His failure to crack the active list on a lottery bound team has hurt his value, but packaging him with some of our lesser-lauded lights might land us a player.


Mark Blount – with one of the uglier contracts in all of sport and a reputation for being soft, ineffective, and a locker room cancer, there is no other team in the league who would seek out Blount unless they were looking to dump some garbage of their own. Do not be fooled by those who would say things like, “some team can use his offense,” he’s still un-tradeable. No team in the league needs a soft 30 year old “center” who can’t rebound, is among the league leaders in turnovers, and is set to draw $7.9 million dollars in the year 2009/2010. Much like having drunken physical relations with an unattractive member of the opposite sex, the regret can only be magnified when other people become involved. That is to say – no one’s fucking this fat bitch since Ainge got in her.

Raef LaFrentz - Raef was probably un-tradeable when Danny traded for him, but the passage of time has only made his contract more grotesque and his output less inspiring. Raef is not a bad player by any stretch, but after this season he’s still on the books for three more years, and his game is not exactly on the upswing. To deal him is likely impossible, as even combining him with Pierce or Davis puts you into the $20 million deal range, and it’s hard to believe that anyone wants Pierce or Ricky enough to take on $30 million worth of Raef.

Brian Scalabrine – with the changes to the CBA that now allow a 25% difference in total salaries for trading purposes, it is doubtful that this lemon even has value as trade filler. One of the five worst players in the league and with guaranteed money until 2009/2010, there is no one in their right mind who wants or needs this idiot on their team. He will sit on the Celtics bench for the next five years as a monument to the poisonous Wormtongue influence that is The Brain Doctor.

Who the Fuck Knows

Delonte West – It’s hard to imagine any GM salivating over the opportunity to add the Herp to their roster, but perhaps his versatility and reputation as a good shooter gives him some value around the league. My guess is outside of providing filler in a multi-player deal, Delonte will likely remain a classic over-valued “career Celtic,” with a long term, low-money contract eventually appearing on the horizon. He’s non-threatening to the fans, active, and a genuine team player, but no GM in the league needs to go back to their team announcing - “Hey everyone, I just traded a lottery-protected 1st rounder for a career back-up shooting guard with a fragile point guard’s body who couldn’t unequivocally beat Orien Greene out of a starting position in the 2005 training camp.”

Perk – Obviously a lot of teams would love to have a 7 footer with a nose for the ball and no great ambition to be the next Wilt Chamberlain on offense, but I wonder if Perk is really on anyone’s radar yet. In two years I could easily see him as anything from our starting center to our 10th man. His strengths are such that he sometimes brings to mind a more awkward version of Ben Wallace, but his bull-in-a-china-shop style of play and often misplaced aggressiveness gives off a general “poor man’s Danny Fortson” vibe. Trading him now would be inane, because at worst he will always maintain some trade value as a physical presence, and at best he reasonably develop into something much more valuable over the next couple years.

Dan Dickau - Believe it or not, I could see someone trading for Dickau. He’s a great shooter, an experienced point guard, and only has two more years on his contract after this season. He could fit in well as a backup on a good team that can afford his defensive lapses.

The Dregs

Tony Allen, Marcus Banks, Justin Reed, Orien Greene, and Ryan Gomes – no one is looking to add these guys to their roster, but they’re cheap enough to work as extra parts in a real trade. I’m sure Ainge would love to move Marcus before they have to deal with his upcoming “fuck you I told you so” dip into the free agent market, but as motivated sellers I doubt they can extort much for him. These guys only have value in the unlimited imaginations of hyper-optimistic Celtics fans.

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