Here they come and out they go. Danny Ainge continues to put the Celtics in a position for major salary cap flexibility as the season progresses with more than enough trades. The Celtics have already traded Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks and Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies in recent weeks, but what they got in return are already leaving Boston before they were even settled in.
The Celtics traded Brandon Wright to the Phoenix Suns just prior to Jeff Green being traded. Brandon Wright was part of the trade package that the Mavericks sent over in the Rajon Rondo trade. Wright is a 7-foot center that I would’ve loved to see more often with a healthy competition with fellow 7-footer Tyler Zeller. But the Phoenix Suns appeared to be interested in having multiple a young center depth on their roster in addition to Alex Len and Myles Plumlee. Danny Ainge was able to successfully nab a conditional 1st round from the Suns that was originally owned by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jameer Nelson was another part of the Mavericks package that came to the Celtics. Just like Brandon Wright, Nelson was traded to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Nate Robinson. Jameer Nelson has been a very good point guard throughout his entire career and was a great competitor when the Celtics have faced the Orlando Magic during Boston’s recent Big-3 era. Nelson is a skilled veteran that can help a mentor any young team in this league. Unfortunately, it’s going to be with the Nuggets and not the Celtics. On the contrary, Nate Robinson will not dawn the Celtics green again as he expected to be bought out and waived.
Next trade package that came to Boston was of the results of Jeff Green heading to Memphis. Tayshaun Prince is a 35-year old winger that has championship experience with the Detroit Pistons. We will not see Prince’s championship presence in Boston anytime soon as he and the Celtics’ front office are negotiating a buyout. Prince is coming from a powerhouse team in the Memphis Grizzlies to a Celtics team that is rebuilding. I’m personally disappointed that he feels that the Celtics can’t win anytime soon and will not give a young core team a chance to grow with him by their side. I guess it’s safe to say that Prince has been spoiled during his career in the NBA playing on playoff or championship caliber teams. I’m sorry to say this, but just because Prince is his last name doesn’t mean that he is one. My message to Tayshaun is that it is your loss that you’re missing an opportunity to play for a rich and historic franchise regardless of what shape they are in.
Another piece of the package in the Jeff Green trade is from the New Orleans Pelicans. Austin Rivers is here and gone in 24 hours. The Celtics have an agreement in place to send Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers for two expiring contracts that have yet to be determined. The Celtics are also going to receive a future 2nd round pick from the Clippers once the trade is finalized. I’m happy for the fact that Austin Rivers will play for his father and former great Celtics coach Doc Rivers, but I’m bummed that we will not be able to utilize him to his full potential. He was in the same situation in New Orleans as Tyler Zeller was in Cleveland where he is a good young player being sandwiched on the bench to rust. Brad Stevens would bring out the best in Austin Rivers without a doubt in my mind, but he will have a good opportunity on a team that is already built to win.
Danny Ainge is still taking phone calls to this day and the days ahead prior to the trade deadline on February 19th. All of these trades that have been happening lately have been freaky enough to become a Stephen King novel. With all due respect, I trust Danny Ainge 100% with everything he is doing to help the Celtics down the road and I think it’s only a matter of time before he lands some big name players prior to next season.