You know the trade deadline is fast approaching when the Blogs fire up the rumor mills full force. Someone reports that Rondo is on the block, or that Paul Pierce’s days in a Celtics uniform are quickly coming to an end. Or Ray Allen is as good as gone, the blogger declares, swearing on the computer in his mom’s basement. And so it goes, pseudo-journalists trying their best to appear Big Time, breaking the story before Danny Ainge can seal the deal. They figure if they sling enough dirt out there that sooner or later someone gets lucky and something sticks.
Such is the case with the Jermaine O’Neal for Michael Beasley trade rumors. Does the story have legs? At first blush, no. Just can’t imagine Ainge leaking a story of this nature, and can’t imagine the Timberwolves letting that out, either. Could happen in this day of tweets and texts and instant access to anything stored anywhere, but I really doubt that it has leaked into the public domain, and I highly doubt Ainge stops by some dude’s basement to share trade gossip.
Still, the Beasley rumors are intriguing. O’Neal is done in this league, can’t stay healthy and can’t stay on the floor. He is 33 years old with an expiring contract, and that has to count for some sort of value. Beasley is young, and as we saw against the Clippers last night, capable. Adding a player like Beasley makes the Celtics younger, and gives them time to test-drive the product before committing long-term.
I’m trying to imagine what the Celtics would look like with Beasley in the mix, a healthy Jeff Green playing up to his potential, a solid post player and Rajon Rondo running the show. I’m not saying either Green or Beasley starts, I’m just saying…and what if you somehow bring back Allen for less money and a reduced roll? It’s still a team with glaring issues, no question. But is it a step in the right direction?
Any scenario that involves keeping Rondo onboard is a step in the right direction. I know his limitations; he’s a guy who may never be a consistent outside threat. But that’s why you rebuild with shooters around him. Last time I checked, Green and Beasley and Allen were considered decent shooters. Brandon Bass, too. Pierce knows how to put the ball in the hole, no?
Too many 2s and 3s, right? Beasley can play the 4, but is he big and physical enough to handle the load? Green is versatile as well, and Bass can play that role depending on match-ups and whether Doc wants to go big or small. My guess is that Ainge couldn’t keep them all and make it work.
And none of this really cuts to the heart of what ails the Celtics; defense and rebounding. Somehow Ainge needs to make Boston younger, more athletic, and tougher in the painted area. No easy task, but giving Beasley a spin would help to figure out who to keep and who to part ways with.
Who knows if the trade happens. I’d welcome it if it did, but I’m not holding my breath. If you believe everything you read, everyone from Rondo to Pierce is as good as gone anyway.
Maybe we’ll find them all in the crawl space of that Blogger’s house … Correction, the Blogger’s mother’s house….
Boston, and all points beyond