But with so much talent to be had in the 2014 NBA draft next summer, the struggling C's could potentially become big-time players at the league's Feb. 20 trade deadline as they look to continue the rebuilding process and retool this offseason.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hasn't been shy when it comes to pulling the trigger on a big move in the past. After all, he's the guy that brought Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to Boston to form the original Big Three alongside Paul Pierce in the summer of 2007. But in addition to whether Boston will actually make a deal before the deadline, it remains to be seen what Ainge and the front office are looking to accomplish.
It's obvious that Boston doesn't possess the personnel to compete for a championship. Therefore, will Ainge make a massive splash for a marquee name, ship away a contract or two to clear cap space or simply be content to let the deadline pass?
Here we'll break down the latest trade rumors surrounding the Celtics this February.
*Player contract info courtesy of Spotrac.com.
Toronto would love to make a deal for Rajon Rondo, but I'm told Rondo would not re-sign a long-term contract in Toronto after next season...— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2014
Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that the Rockets are also interested in Rajon Rondo and a possible price tag to land the point guard:
Sources familiar w/Rockets' thinking say HOU has absolute interest in trading for Rajon Rondo. But that alone doesn't mean we'll see a deal— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 19, 2014
Close relationship between Danny Ainge and Daryl Morey means talks are always easy to fire up but Celts' demands for Rondo are very high— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 19, 2014
Celtics got a first for Doc Rivers and multiple firsts for Pierce/KG, as covered today on Stein Line Live. For Rondo they'll want even more— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 19, 2014
Celtics, I'm told, would insist on Chandler Parsons in a theoretical Rondo deal. And Rockets, by all accounts, NOT willing to surrender CP— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 19, 2014
Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe later reported the Celtics would not make a blockbuster trade:
Thursday’s trade deadline is at 3 p.m., but as of Wednesday night, all was quiet on the Celtics’ front, according to a league source.
Despite a flurry of trade rumors about teams being interested in Rondo, the source said the Celtics were not close to completing any deals and that there wasn’t much activity at all. Another league source stressed it was highly unlikely the team will trade Rondo.
”€œI’ve had conversations with a couple of different general managers last night, and we talked a little bit about Boston and what they were trying to do at the trade deadline, and the sense I got from them was that Boston is totally overvaluing some of the players they have. They’€™re looking for first-round picks in return for guys like Jeff Green or a guy like Avery Bradley and others and they’€™re just not going to get it.”
Although most of the trade talk has centered on Rondo, given his star power and contract situation, recent reports have suggested that no player is off limits when it comes to potentially being moved this winter.
According to Broussard, Ainge is aiming to clear cap space ahead of the offseason and would likely consider moving each of his top assets, stating:
In other Celtics news, Ainge is looking to clear as much cap room as soon as he can, so if he can find takers for Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green and Avery Bradley, they're gone.
Gerald Wallace, who will turn 32 in July, is scheduled to earn over $20 million over the next two seasons.
Meanwhile, Jeff Green, who has another year remaining on his contract with a player option for 2015-16, has been struggling immensely since the start of 2014. The 27-year-old shot just 38.6 percent from the field during the month of January and began February with a dreadful 2-of-13 performance against the Orlando Magic.
More executives think the Celtics want to trade Jeff Green. They’re probably trying to persuade someone to take Gerald Wallace along with Green, though many figure they’ll eventually move Green.
Avery Bradley is in the final year of his rookie contract and will become a restricted free agent this summer unless he and the club agree on a new deal.
Forward Brandon Bass is another name to watch. The veteran has one more year remaining on his contract after this season and could offer a lot to a contending team.
While those names headline Boston's top assets this winter, there's no telling who could be on the move if Ainge and the Celtics receive the right offer. Ainge and the C's are certainly well-known for their eagerness to shake things up when it comes to the NBA trade deadline, and Boston's current position in the standings provides even more incentive to deal.