The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline is just under six weeks away, and Danny Ainge remains in the middle of a complete overhaul of the Boston Celtics. Rajon Rondo is not walking through that door. Well, except for when the Dallas Mavericks come to town. The same is true of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, unless the TD Garden plays host to the Washington Wizards or Brooklyn Nets. The 2014-2015 Celtics are not competing for an NBA Championship. They can barely compete for a playoff spot in a very weak Eastern Conference. While looking at the current roster, it can probably be safely assumed that the 2015-2016 Celtics won’t be eyeing a title run either. I don’t know how long it may take, but Ainge will continue to break down this team before he builds it back up again. That brings us to the latest rumor involving Boston’s best remaining player, Jeff Green.
I wrote last month that the Celtics should look to trade Green before he reaches free agency after next season. He still has some value, so why not make a deal sooner rather than later?
The Memphis Grizzlies are hoping for the former over the latter.
The Grizzlies are rumored to have an interest in trading for Green or Luol Deng of the Miami Heat, this according to Marc Stein of ESPN. Memphis knows that it has to make a move in order to at least hold onto homecourt advantage for the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks acquired Rondo, while the Houston Rockets recently picked up Josh Smith and Corey Brewer. With such a loaded Western Conference, the Grizzlies know they need an upgrade at forward if they are to seriously compete with the upper echelon out west.
Green or Deng could certainly do the trick.
After losing LeBron James to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers last summer, the Heat do not want to watch the postseason from home. Entering play on Thursday, Miami is currently holding onto the No. 8 seed in the east. Boston is just two games back of Miami, but has already demonstrated a propensity to trade any player now for an asset that will help in the rebuilding process. Trading Green would likely net the Celtics another future first round pick, as well as an expiring contract, perhaps, of Tayshaun Prince.
One can never rule out Pat Riley to make a big move to set up the Heat for the future either, as we all know that Riley also likes to get to the point where he has very few players under contract so that he can make a run at many of the biggest names on the open market.
Ultimately, I could see both Green and Deng traded by the February 19 trade deadline, with the Grizzlies very likely to acquire at least one of them.