Even before it was announced that Rajon Rondo would sit out the rest of the 2012-2013 Boston Celtics season because of a torn ACL, rumors were swirling about the Celtics making a potential trade before the NBA’s February 21st deadline.
Even though Danny Ainge brought in shooting guards Courtney Lee and Jason Terry to make up for the loss of long-time Celtic three-point shooter Ray Allen, the team hasn’t really come together. Rookie Jared Sullinger looks good, but for the most part the team looks lost when starters like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce sit out to rest.
Because Garnett and Pierce need to watch their minutes to maintain their strength and avoid injury, the Celtics bench needs to become stronger. More importantly, the Celtics bench needs to mesh together better and grow into more consistent play with one another.
Now, with star point guard Rajon Rondo out for the season, the trade rumors are swirling even more dramatically around the Boston Celtics. Fans are on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if Danny Ainge makes a move for a replacement for Rondo or another player to complete the puzzle.
Let’s consider some of the trade rumors currently surrounding the Celtics and its roster.
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors
As reported MassLive.com, ESPN’s Marc Stein expressed that the Celtics may try to make a play for Kyle Lowry, a 26-year-old point guard who currently plays for Toronto.
Lowry is young and strong, which makes him a potential replacement for Rajon Rondo. Currently he averages 13.5 points, 5.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. The Celtics still have plenty of money since they lost Ray Allen to the Miami Heat, so Lowry’s $5.75 million contract this year and his projected $6.21 million payday next season seem reasonable for the Celtics.
With point guard Jose Calderon playing consistently well for Toronto, there isn’t much room for Lowry to be a star. On the other hand, he could very well come into a starting point guard position with the Celtics were he to be traded.
Rudy Gay, SF, Memphis Grizzlies
Also sparking trade rumors recently is small forward Rudy Gay, according to ESPN. Reportedly, the Grizzlies are in discussion with the Toronto Raptors regarding Gay, despite the fact that Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien told reporters recently, “we really like our team.”
The Celtics are also allegedly interested in the small forward. As reports ESPN, “making a trade for Gay would require Boston to part with Paul Pierce, which is a step that the Celtics management might not be ready to take and might not be able to afford since Gay has two years left on his contract valued at more than $35 million.”
For the 2012-2013 season, Gay averages 17.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 36.7 minutes per game.
J.J. Redick, SG, Orlando Magic
Even before Rondo tore his ACL, reports were circling about the Celtics’ possible interest in shooting guard J.J. Redick of Orlando. Redick averages an impressive 14.9 points and 4.4 assists per game, and with those numbers he may just be the player the Celtics need to improve their scoring.
According to SB Nation, Marc Stein of ESPN claimed that the Celtics had “ramped up” their interest in bringing Redick to Boston as of January 25th. Rondo’s recent injury may change the way Ainge is thinking about trading and moving around his players, but the fact remains that Redick would contribute to the Celtics’ points tremendously. He also wouldn’t be too expensive for the Celtics, as he has a $6.19 million contract for this season and will become an unrestricted free agent come July 1st.
Ultimately, the trade rumors will remain just that—rumors—until Danny Ainge makes a decision. According to MassLive.com, Ainge isn’t committing to anything or giving anything away. He told the Boston Globe, “We’re waiting to see who’s all available and see what our needs are. Right now we have no needs. We got 11 healthy bodies and it’s tough to get those 11 guys on the court. We have good healthy players that can’t get the time they deserve and they want, so we have no need right now. We’ll see over the next few weeks what we need.”
Until the trade deadline, Celtics fans will most likely remain in the dark regarding the future of the Boston team. Hopefully the next few games will reveal exactly how well the Celtics will fare without Rondo.