Celtics-Grizzlies Trade: Boston Swaps Fab Melo for Memphis' Donte Greene

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2013

If you thought re-gifting Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets would be the Boston Celtics' biggest trade of the summer, well, you were probably right. But we now know it wasn't their last trade of the summer.

The Celtics announced on Thursday that they've traded 2012 first-round pick Fab Melo to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for forward Donte Greene. 

Boston took Melo with the 22nd pick hoping to bolster its front line defensively. In return for the 23-year-old center, the organization receives a stretch 4 with just two non-guaranteed seasons remaining on his contract (for a total of just approximately $2.2 million).


Greene's a stretch 4 in theory anyway. He made an impressive 38 percent of his three-point attempts in 2009-10, a season in which he actually started 50 games for the Sacramento Kings. Since then, however, Greene's minutes have declined in each of the last two seasons, and his accuracy from range has plummeted to sub-.300 territory.

That's not an encouraging trend, but there's something to be said for a change of scenery. If the Celtics wind up in a full-on rebuild this season, Greene may find a more significant opportunity than any of us is bargaining for.

In Melo, Memphis receives a project with the potential to be a solid rim protector. He played in only six games for the Celtics last season, so there's still no telling what he can do in the NBA. But he was second in the NBA Development League with 3.2 blocks per game for the Maine Red Claws, so it's a good bet the 7-footer's calling card will be rebounding and protecting the paint.

It's hard to say who got the better of this deal, or whether it will even matter in the long-term. What it says for Boston's short-term fate may be the more interesting takeaway. Is this merely an aftershock to the Nets deal, or is it a precursor to something more scintillating up Danny Ainge's sleeve?