Buy or Sell: Celtics trade rumors

By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully

The NBA trading deadline is quickly approaching (February 18th) and, as they always seems to be, the Celtics are at the center of many trade rumors. Some good, some interesting and some gag educing.

So lets dive in shall we? Sift through the rumors and see which ones we are buying/selling.

Dwight Howard

I don’t know about you, but when I read the New York Daily News report that the Celtics have “engaged the Houston Rockets in talks about a possible deal for Dwight Howard” I spit out my coffee and I wasn’t even drinking any. If you know me at all or follow me on Twitter, you know I am not the biggest Dwight Howard guy.

Howard is a player with immense talent and plays in a body that shouldn’t be able to do the things he can do on a basketball court.

On paper it all makes sense. The Celtics would, in all likelihood, want to acquire a go-to scoring option down low, but Dwight’s career has always looked good on paper and that’s about it.

Howard forced his way out of Orlando, Los Angeles and now seemingly Houston. He is a poor locker ro0m guy and doesn’t seem to be a guy you can make it to an NBA Finals with.

I also think, because of his name, he will cost too much. The farthest I would consider going for him would be David Lee, Dallas’ 2016 first round pick and maybe one more small asset. A give away.

Thankfully according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Danny Ainge hasn’t lost his mind. Not yet at least.

Amid reports the Celtics were pursuing Rockets center Dwight Howard, one had reason to ponder that possibility, but multiple league sources have told the Herald there are no such talks.

Team A calling Team B in recent weeks to ask if it would give up assets A, B and C for Player A — and being told, “No” — does not a negotiation make. Rather it makes for a pretty quick and fruitless phone call.

 Verdict: Sell 

Al Horford and Jeff Teague 

This trade rumor at first peaked my interest. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical said the Atlanta Hawks could “push the reset button” and his colleague Chris Mannix said this on CSNNE.

I’ve heard that Boston’s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford,” said Mannix. “Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’s someone the Celtics could be interested in. “Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’s going to command a salary north of $20 million next year.

Initially I liked this deal, but after I pondered it for a while I’m passing on it. This deal, in my opinion, doesn’t get done without the Nets 2016 first round pick. The Hawks would not be looking for any players in return in a deal of this magnitude for their franchise. They want picks.

Wouldn’t this be your response if you read on Twitter that Danny Ainge pushed all his chips in the middle and dealt most of the valuable Nets picks for Horford and Teague: “That’s it?!”

It certainly would be mine.

Atlanta maxed out last year finishing with the top seed in the Eastern Conference and a mediocre playoff run. That’s not Celtics basketball and Ainge knows that.

Verdict: Sell

Rudy Gay

Remember Jeff Green? Gay is basically the same player, maybe a tick better. He would be another go-to scoring option, but I’m not starting him over Jae Crowder.

Verdict: Sell 

DeMarcus Cousins

I wrote a while back on ESPN NH that I wanted no part in Cousins. Since then I have tossed and turned on Cousins. Want him, then can’t stand him. If we were a Facebook relationship, you better bet “it’s complicated.”

The talent, the age and the fit is all too tantalizing, but what he does off the court (and sometimes on it) ultimately drives me away from Cousins. If Danny Ainge is going to gamble, I’d much rather it involve ping pong balls rather than Cousins’ personality.

Verdict: Sell

Danilo Gallinari

I think Gallinari is the perfect middle ground for the Celtics to acquire, contend, but not harbor the future of the franchise.

Gallinari could have an Isaiah Thomas like impact for the Celtics. I’m not saying he will turn into an All-Star, but the 6’10 forward would be an ideal compliment to Brad Stevens system and be a solid second scoring option for the C’s.

It’s not surprising that the Celtics are “aggressively pursuing” Gallinari seeing as they tried to acquire him this offseason, but Bulpett reported that it seems unlikely we’ll see him in green.

One league source from that region said of the Nuggets, “They’re not trading him. They’re building around him.”

If the Celtics can convince Denver to let go of the 27 year old, then I’m all for it. I’d give away just about anything that’s not the 2016 Nets pick, Jae Crowder, Thomas or Smart. That’s how much I think Gallinari fits on this team.

Verdict: Buy 

Blake Griffin

I honestly think Griffin is overrated and seeing as he punched a locker room attendant and broke his hand, he doesn’t seem like the ideal acquisition, but I’d still do this deal.

Getting Griffin would almost certainly empty the cupboard and I still think it’s worth it.

Even though I think Griffin is overrated players do not. In the attempt of recreating a Big 3, Griffin is an end to a mean. A Ray Allen to Kevin Garnett if you will. The Celtics have cap room, a great young coach and now a star to pair up with another star in free agency.

I also will never get sick of his posterizing dunks.

Verdict: Buy 

Gordon Hayward

I’ll be honest, Hayward does nothing for me. Never has and probably never will. I get it. He played under Brad Stevens at Butler and would be a nice piece for this team. Will he win you anything though? How much better can he make this team? He will undoubtably cost the Nets pick this year (maybe top-1 protected) and I’m weary on that.

Verdict: Sell

Kevin Love

Is anyone else bored by the Kevin Love-to-Boston rumor yet? I sure am. Like his game, but (like Hayward) can you win with him?

To be fair, he does have the Blake Griffin-like appeal that he may be able to bring in another star.

I don’t really want to invest any more time on Love, because I don’t think that will actually happen. If it does great, but until it does I think everyone has given all of their Kevin Love hot takes.

Verdict: Sell (the rumor) Buy (the player)

Jabari Parker 

ESPN Insider Chad Ford reported that Parker is “in play” as the deadline approaches for Milwaukee. If that is true, and I’m not doubting the report, I would trade the 2016 Nets pick for Parker. I love his game.

The 6’8 forward is averaging 11.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in his first real season in the NBA.

In my opinion, he is a superstar in the making especially with the tutelage of Brad Stevens.

If I am Danny Ainge, I’m calling the Bucks everyday trying to get this player in Celtic green.

Verdict: Buy 

So that’s it. Those are just some of the big names linked in some way shape or form to the Celtics as the deadline gets closer and closer, but after listing all of these players it’s important to remember that a lot of trades to do not happen.

But hey, as one former “unrealistic star that would never come to Boston” once said, anything is possible.



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