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Monday, December 21, 2009
Nate Robinson eyes Boston?

By Chris Forsberg

With guard Nate Robinson expressing his desire to be traded away from the New York Knicks, ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan writes in today's Daily Dime that Boston is the two-time Slam Dunk champion's preferred landing spot.

Sheridan details potential trade scenarios:

Robinson is what's known as a base-year compensation player, a designation given to any player whose salary rises more than 20 percent from the previous season (Robinson went from making $2.02 million to $4 million). If the Knicks found a trade for Robinson that was to his liking, they could only take back a player making $2.02 million or less -- and Walsh has been adamant that he will not take on any contracts that eat up the cap space he has squirreled away for next summer. (Note: A trade of Robinson to Boston for J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker would work under salary cap rules, but would add nearly $2 million to the Knicks' 2010-11 payroll. A Robinson-Marquis Daniels swap -- with all deals possibly brokered through a third team -- would make more sense for New York payroll-wise, but it is questionable whether that would interest the Celtics -- even with Daniels sidelined until the All-Star break by thumb surgery.)
Analysis: The Celtics love what Daniels brings to this team and they've got him at a bargain salary (even if it's just for one season). Especially given the injury situation, there's no way they'd consider moving him for another team's malcontent. When healthy, Daniels is the primary ball-handler for the Celtics' second unit and has the flexibility to go to the post after starting the offense in motion. Add in his defensive value and he's far too well-rounded a player to swap for a streaky scorer.

On the surface, the Giddens-Walker combo would make some sense for the Celtics. Having declined Giddens' option for next season, it appears they're set to let him walk away (though there's always the chance they resign him to a team-friendly deal). Walker continues to rehab with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League and has yet to show if he's worth the lottery talk that surrounded him before his predraft knee injury.

But this reminds us of when Willie McGinest expressed interest in returning to the Patriots before the start of the 2009 season. Just because a player expresses interest in a team, doesn't mean the interest is reciprocal.

The Celtics certainly could use a backup point guard and Robinson is an intriguing option, but we still believe the team has a better option under its thumb in director of basketball development Tyronn Lue, should they be able to coax the 32-year-old out of retirement later this season for a chance to win an NBA title.