Saturday, February 17, 2007


Kiss my assets

Few things in life are as dispiriting as being patronized by the dim witted and wealthy, so news that Wyc Grousbeck was handing out free “inspirational” literature to the Celtics squad during their recent losing streak, struck us hard here at the nearly abandoned CelticsDoom HQ. We needed to respond quickly and without equivocation, so we’ve dispatched our new intern Dr. Bob Dylan to spread the word of Grousbeck-ian folly.

Dr. Bob writes exclusively to us at our hideout in Satan Monica, CA to explain his disdain: “Wyc ain’t a man so much as a slinky beast that crawls on his belly, jiving up the ghosts in the rafters with a bunch of California whores dressed in green pasties and hot pants, like some kind of carnival of the damned and/or easily entertained.” We concur. Thanks for reviving us with your hard work, Bob.

Anyway, as the NBA trade deadline approaches and Celtics fans scurry to concoct all manner of unbelievable trade nonsense, we present as a public service, the CelticsDoom "assets" chart, presented in order of descending value.

Trade "Value" 2007

2007 Number one pick – undoubtedly the only “asset” of the Celtics that teams are actually calling to inquire about, the quandary of course is that by shipping it out for an established player, the pick immediately becomes devalued. So if someone is looking to acquire the pick simply to enter the Oden sweepstakes, it’s unlikely they can give us something worthwhile in return. Outside of Jason Kidd, I don’t see any player on the block who will turn this team into anything resembling a winner, but getting Gasol or Vince Carter or someone along those lines would probably knock us back into 4th or 5th lotto position. Thus, management is faced with either 1) taking a chance by being very bad at getting someone very good, or 2) trading a semi-valuable pick for a semi-valuable player.

Al Jefferson – as valuable as one can be after “starring” during an 18 game losing streak, Big Al still remains an enigma to fans and the rest of the league. Yes, he had gaudy rebounding numbers, but watching him go for 21/6 while still being destroyed by Elton Brand in early February is enough to give even his boosters pause. Al is not going to land a great player all on his own, so it’s likely he’d have to be packaged with the pick in order to land a top 20 talent. If that’s what Memphis is asking for in exchange for Gasol, I can understand Ainge’s reluctance. However, if Al and Green and a protected pick/future pick are the cost, he’s fucking nuts for not making that deal.

Theo Ratliff – a kind-of expiring deal MIGHT be tempting to a team that is looking to shed some money down the road, but it’s hardly the great silver bullet some have made it out to be. Theo is still a gold star for Wyc’s bean counters, the $10 million man who cost us Brandon Roy and inflicted us with Sebastian Telfailure. Here’s hoping he at least fulfilled Wyc’s “good character” demands.

Gerald Green – barely worth anything on his own. We have learned this year that Gerald is not a basketball player in any self-respecting sense of the word. Until he gets some brains and consistency, he’s a pot sweetener at best.

Paul Pierce – Pierce’s perceived value is probably at an all time high, but his savage contract extension and the fact that there are so few teams that have the right parts to exchange make the task of trading him daunting. The only winning team with anything to offer is the Bulls, and they don’t really want/need him. Phoenix is an outside possibility, but salary concerns make them unlikely as well.

Delonte West – Delonte’s stock has plummeted in the hearts of Celtics fans, bringing his perceived value on Celticsblog closer to what the rest of the league thought about him all along. He’s a spare part.

Rondo – Rondo has a strange and at times, oddly compelling, game at the moment, but some GM might find his potential as a shorter, weaker, worse shooting Marcus Banks appealing enough to toss a precious 2nd rounder Ainge’s way.

Tony Allen – we hear that the going rate around the league for our favorite inmate is two cartons of Kools. I know, I know, he was good for 10 games. But he’s a spastic ball hog without a brain, and no one in the league will touch him.

As for the rest, they are fundamentally untradeable and/or worthless. Unfortunately for those who believe in the Ainge “assets” myth, a bunch of crappy players cannot be combined to get one good one. These are men, not carbon nanotubes. They don’t gain value when joined together.

So what should we do?

This franchise is completely fucked, from top to bottom. Assuming that a Pierce trade is a no-go (which is still the best course of action if you care about this team over the next ten years), the only option now is to trade away everything we can to make this squad less of a complete embarrassment and more of a benign headache.

Trading Jefferson for Gasol makes a lot of sense, simply because Jefferson will be lucky to ever be anything close to that caliber of player. Gasol is a legit top 20 talent that you can actually build a team around. With Pierce and our cut-rate glue guys they’d be adequate to compete in the east.

I still think Kidd makes more sense, simply because he accomplishes the most important goal – that is, to get the ball out of Pierce’s hands and maximize the limited talents of Ainge’s bargin basement supporting cast. It’s unlikely New Jersey wants to move him within the division however, so it’s probably moot.

The most important move for the future, however, is holding on to the number one pick. The chance of landing Oden is simply too powerful an incentive to make a rash move this late in the season, and the accumulating value of the pick as the team continues to lose makes it all the more crucial to hold on. If by some stroke of fortune the Celtics could win the Oden sweepstakes AND trade for a Gasol or Kidd type vet, then Ainge will walk ass backwards into a respectable legacy.

The sad fact is that the good teams in the NBA have profited from the draft lottery and already have their untradeable impact types under lock and key. The Celtics need to take the chance at finding their own savior in the ping pong balls, and let luck redeem the franchise from the past decade (plus) of chronic mismanagement and a complete lack of vision.

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