ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported earlier today that the Celtics are still in the running for Hornets point guard Chris Paul. Reportedly the Celtics have offered Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and two future first-round picks.
First off, I am all for the Celtics making a run at Paul but this trade makes absolutely no sense to me unless one thing comes from it; and that is if they are able to get Dwight Howard to join up with Paul here in Boston. I am content with trading away Rondo for Paul, and even including one or two draft picks.
Yes, Paul is better than Rondo, not by a landslide, but he is better. How can you also throw Jeff Green into the deal along with two first-round picks though? Let’s reverse back to last season. The Celtics gave up Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to land Jeff Green, so they must have some faith in him. I was one of the few who were not very upset when that deal went down. Jeff Green is a quality player who has averaged just less than 16 PPG as a starter in the NBA. Then you are also going to throw in two first-round picks? I think the Hornets would be stupid not to take the offer, but that’s not the argument here.
Lets just say that trade does happen. How do the Celtics get Dwight Howard? Does anyone actually think Orlando would deal Howard to the Celtics in exchange for what is left on this roster? Obviously they wont trade Pierce. So what is left? You have no draft picks to trade, and no young talent without Green. Orlando doesn’t want Allen or Garnett. They would much rather ship him to L.A. for a Bynum/Gasol combination. Not only do they get more value for Howard, they also keep him out of the conference. So assuming they can’t land Howard this is what their future will look like in three years or so. Chris Paul. That’s it. Allen, Pierce and Garnett are all on their way out and the Celtics would have no picks to draft a quality player, and no Jeff Green to help build around Paul.
The fact that they are willing to trade Rajon Rondo and his underpaid $11 million a year contract, along with the only other player on the team with some upside, and include two first round picks just to have a somewhat minor upgrade from Rondo to Paul just doesn’t make any sense to me. Not to mention they will have to sign Paul to a deal paying him almost double of what Rondo makes.
Some people will try to say if we get Paul, Howard will follow here next season when he is a free agent. The only issue is that Howard won’t be a free agent. If he won’t resign in Orlando they will trade him. There is no way they take the chance Cleveland took and just let their star player walk away and get nothing in return.