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Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Report: C's close to deal for Robinson

By Chris Forsberg

The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy reported Tuesday night that the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks could be close to a deal that would bring three-time dunk champion Nate Robinson to Boston.

From the Herald:

According to multiple sources, the Celtics and Knicks are close to a deal that would bring guard Nate Robinson to the Celts, possibly in exchange for Eddie House.

A league source, as well as a Knicks source, said today that both sides still have interest in the deal that has been discussed in the last month. Two sources in Sacramento, where the Celts played the Kings last night, verified the interest from both sides.

ESPN's Chris Sheridan confirmed that the teams have renewed discussions that began several weeks ago.

But there are a few red flags:

Update: Sheridan chimes in with the following:

I have confirmed that the teams have renewed discussions, but there is one major thing to keep in mind: Robinson is what's known as a base-year compensation player, which can be a complicating factor. Robinson makes $4 million, but the Knicks can take back a maximum of only $2.02 million in returning salary.

"Just an educated guess, but if Boston was willing to trade a No. 1 pick for Nate, it'd blunt the pain of surrendering a first-rounder or two to the Rockets in a McGrady deal. On a related note, three plugged-in sources indicated the Knicks seemed eager to get their business done Wednesday rather than wait until the 11th hour Thursday afternoon.

Quick thoughts after Sheridan's update: Surrendering a first-round pick isn't the end of the world for the playoff-bound Celtics, who are likely to be drafting in the late 20s anyhow. But this is also a team that desperately needs to get younger and giving up a first-round pick for a three-month rental could be shortsighted.

Some will argue a late first-round pick is nothing more than a guy like Giddens, who hasn't earned a spot in the rotation in his season-plus in Boston, but the Celtics could always find a guy like Glen Davis (an early second-round selection) at that spot. Interesting to see if New York's desire to accelerate a deal forces Boston to pull back, given what would appear to be their desire to let the trade market play out straight to the deadline.