Boston Celtics: Trade Rumors

Sources: C's, Knicks in advanced talks

February, 17, 2010
2/17/10
5:20
PM ET


Two sources told ESPN.com the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks are in advanced talks about a Nate Robinson-for-Eddie House swap. Both sources stressed that a deal was not completed yet as of 3 p.m.

A potential holdup in the deal, the Boston Globe reported, is the fact that House’s $2.8 million salary does not match the $2.02 million that Robinson’s contract is worth, so there would need to be more to the deal than a one-for-one swap. One rumored possibility is that the Celtics could include a second-round pick in the deal.

A source close to House told the Globe that House wasn’t mentioned prominently in the deal until late Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Robinson would back up starting point guard Rajon Rondo if dealt to the Celtics and is averaging 13.2 points and 3.7 assists per game in New York. He was fined by the NBA earlier this season after his agent told reporters he had asked the Knicks to trade his client.

In his third season in Boston, the 31-year-old House is averaging 7.1 points per game off the bench for the Celtics.

Report: C's close to deal for Robinson

February, 17, 2010
2/17/10
12:26
AM ET


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:
  • Robinson is making $4 million this season, but is a base-year contract player, so, like we discussed with Glen Davis when that Bobcats rumor floated last week, Robinson's trade value is significantly less. The New York Times' Larry Coon wrote a nice breakdown of the problems this presents in the Off the Dribble blog.

  • Using ESPN's Trade Machine, the only deal we could scratch together quickly was Robinson for Tony Allen and Shelden Williams. If, as Murphy writes, House is involved, it would seem a third team or some creative packaging would need to be done to make this work.

  • Unless the Celtics are including draft picks, it seems slightly odd that the Knicks would be interested in this deal. Even if Robinson remains disgruntled in New York, his $4 million salary is set to come off the books at the end of the season. New York would almost certainly be seeking expiring contracts, which the Celtics can offer in the likes of House ($2.86 million), Allen ($2.5 million), J.R. Giddens ($1.03 million), Brian Scalabrine ($3.4 million), and Williams ($825,000).

  • While the Celtics are certainly interested in a backup point guard, on the surface, it would seem they'd be more in the market for a defense-first guy who can really run the second-team offense by distributing the ball. Now, if the Celtics moved House in the deal, they'd need a guy who could also score the ball, but -- as House showed during Tuesday's game vs. Sacramento -- he remains a valuable asset on this team offensively, despite his struggles this season.

  • The Knicks are reportedly involved in many potential deals (Houston, Chicago). It will be interesting to see which domino falls first and how it affects the others.

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.

Ainge: 'No truth' to Wizards rumor

February, 12, 2010
2/12/10
1:15
PM ET
Boston Celtics president of basketball operations shot down the latest Ray Allen trade rumor Friday, telling the Boston Globe there was “no truth” to a Yahoo! Sports report that the team was working on a deal to send Allen, Brian Scalabrine and J.R. Giddens to the Washington Wizards in exchange for power forward Antawn Jamison and small forward Caron Butler.

Although one source warned ESPN.com it would be a mistake "to sleep on that one," another source close to the situation insisted that a Boston-Washington swap looks "very doubtful" because of the considerable long-term expense Boston would be taking on -- for players who play the same positions as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett -- and because of Washington's reluctance to part with Jamison.

Butler and Jamison are both under contract for next season at a combined $24 million Jamison is also on the books for $15 million in 2011-12. Allen’s $19.7 million contract expires at the end of the season.

The Celtics weren’t the only team rumored to have interest in a deal with the Wizards, who could be looking to unload big contracts and undergo a rebuilding process. The latest rumblings indicate the Dallas Mavericks and Wizards are talking about a deal that would include Butler.

Allen’s name has come up in several rumored deals over the last week or so, including ones that would have netted the Celtics Kevin Martin from the Sacramento Kings, or Mota Ellis from the Golden State Warriors.

"I have no control over trade rumors people," Allen announced to his fans via his Twitter account Friday. "Let's just focus on being positive. I am a Celtic. Green all day."

Earlier this week, Ainge told Boston sports radio station WEEI that he was not looking to "blow it up", preferring to make a minor move.

"I'll know more by this time next week, if there's anything we can do to win better this year and still not hurt us down the road," Ainge said. "So I'm exploring, those are the only kind of deals I'd consider doing right now. Right now, I'm not ready to blow it up. [Maybe] if there was a very intriguing young player, but those are not available."

ESPN.com's Marc Stein contributed to this report.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Isaiah Thomas
PTS AST STL MIN
19.7 5.0 0.6 26.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsE. Turner 5.1
StealsM. Smart 1.4
BlocksT. Zeller 0.7