I’m in shock that Boogie Cousins got traded, but I’m much less surprised that the Celtics didn’t swoop in. The Celtics, as the roster stands right now, is best suited to be real contenders in about three years. Going all in on Cousins right now would mean that they were looking to compete right away, which would mean Danny Ainge saw a possibility of the Celtics taking down Cleveland en route to the Finals. Not only that, but we would also be depending on Cousins to sign an extension – something you can never be too sure of until the time for it arrives. There are plenty of scenarios where trading for a player rental can be justified, and trading lottery picks in a stacked draft is not one of them. For all we know, the asking price would’ve included Jaylen Brown as well, which would be a lot of youth to sacrifice to still only create a long-shot scenario at truly contending.
Speculation aside, the Celtics were obviously not as interested as many of us thought. Given how low the asking price was, which Ainge could have easily outbid, and how smitten Vivek Ranadive is with Buddy Hield, the stars were not aligned for Boogie to come to Boston, and that’s fine.
Today, it was reported that the Bulls are open to trading anybody on the roster (except for Jimmy Butler). The Celtics and Bulls likely discussed a possible trade, but once again, did not reach an agreement. The asking price for Butler was absurdly high last summer, and it likely hasn’t changed. It’s worth noting that Butler is on a relatively team-friendly contract, earning no more than $19 million per year through 2020, while Al Horford will make $30 million in the 2019-20 season.
The fact that everybody else on the Bulls’ roster is available is news, but not of much significance to Celtics fans.
Speaking of small forwards, there have been rumors surrounding Paul George as well, a somewhat similar player to Butler who makes similar amounts of money for the next few years. Danny Ainge is supposedly more willing to trade Brooklyn picks for George, but there is little reason to think George is currently on the market. If I had to pick between him and Butler, I would pick George, mostly because Chicago’s off-court soap opera has turned my off of wanting any veteran player who has worn a Bulls uniform. I still think back to how narrowly that Pacers team lost to LeBron’s Heat on a gifted layup in game one of 2013’s Eastern Conference Finals. There’s no doubt that George is hungry for another chance, and there’s no off-court baggage he would bring with him.
Other reports state that Indiana has been active on the trade market to get Paul George some help, targeting Jahlil Okafor in particular. Okafor, at best, is like a younger Al Jefferson, so I don't see why Indiana would be looking at him, but it's likely that GMs around the league think Okafor would be more successful on a roster where he isn't crowded out by young and talented big men.
The Celtics and Clippers held talks about Blake Griffin, who will be a free agent this summer, as you would expect, a deal is unlikely. The Clippers would want Jae Crowder and either Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley, as well as draft picks, all for Griffin to play three months in Boston before we beg him to re-sign with the team. If we know anything about Doc Rivers, we know that he’s willing to give a competitive roster as many playoff runs as possible before push comes to shove and a deal needs to be made. The Clippers have slipped in the Western Conference standings and share a division with the Golden State Warriors, but are probably content to compete for a spot in the conference finals. Danny Ainge is smart enough to not give away the team’s future for a rental, so don’t get your hopes up to see Griffin in Boston.
Is this even a real rumor? I don’t know, but here’s what I do know: Isaiah tweeted an emoji with eyeballs, and the internet lost its collective mind. Today, Andre Drummond retweeted Isaiah’s tweet and then tweeted an eyeballs emoji of his own. I don’t know if this counts as a real rumor, but it’s 2017, facts don’t matter, and the Earth, depending on who you spoke with at All-Star weekend, may or may not be flat. So, yes. These tweets are real news as far as I’m concerned. The Pistons are open to trading Drummond, so it could be worth keeping an eye on. The Celtics have been near the bottom of the league in defensive rebounds, and Drummond would surely help them improve in that area. With Hack-a-Drummond being a thing, and with Celtics games inevitably going down to the wire from now until eternity, the Celtics could still find themselves without a strong rebounder in crucial minutes. Drummond also has a massive contract that would keep him signed through 2021, which would mean Boston would have a lot invested in their front court in a league dominated by guards. Personally, I think Drummond is a great fit, but the drawbacks of giving up a lot of resources for him are hard to ignore. Detroit is open to discussing trading Drummond, so we'll almost certainly hear more about what kind of offers Detroit gets in the near future.