NBA Rumors: Celtics On The Brink Of Blockbuster Trade
The Boston Celtics have the most assets to pull off a trade for either Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin, two superstars who become free agents next summer. And even though there is an element of truth to the rumors, a source close to the team reports that Boston is yet to contact the Oklahoma City Thunder or Los Angeles Clippers about pulling off a blockbuster trade.Advertisement
According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Celtics GM Danny Ainge is on the brink of making a blockbuster trade. “The Celtics are up to something. Talk to any front-office executive here at the annual Summer League festivities, and the consensus is that a major deal involving Boston is coming soon,” SN reported on Thursday.
Celtics yet to contact Clippers, Thunder?
Shortly after Deveney’s scoop, Boston beat writer Steve Bullpett reported that while Celtics are most willing to part with their chest of draft picks for a superstar, they haven’t had any discussions about Griffin or Westbrook. “Sources indicate the Celtics are very much open to major moves, but while situations certainly remain fluid and they have expressed interest in Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook in the past, there have been no discussions regarding those players in quite some time.”
Do note that there is no guarantee that either Griffin or Westbrook decide to re-sign with Boston next summer. In the past, Westbrook has been strongly linked to Los Angeles and Griffin has been rumored to want to go back home to Oklahoma City.
If Ainge does sacrifice valuable assets for either all-star, it would be a monumental gamble. Those Brooklyn draft picks (for 2017 and 2018) are projected to be high lottery picks and next year’s draft class is loaded. If Griffin or Westbrook bolt from Boston next year, Ainge would be left without assets or the all-star he traded for.
Worth the gamble?
Needless to say, Boston would trade for Griffin or Westbrook only if either star is optimistic about re-resigning next year. “For the Celts to give up the kind of assets it would take to get one of the most talented players in the league, they would have to be convinced he would stay beyond the 2016-17 season — the last on his contract,” wrote Bullpet, before comparing it to the Kevin Garnett situation in 2007.
“It’s similar to the Kevin Garnett situation in 2007 when he had to agree not to exercise his opt-out in 2008 and additionally agree to a three-year extension.”
With the salary cap set for another hike next year, Russell Westbrook and/or Blake Griffin would prefer signing fresh contracts next summer to maximize their earnings. Therefore, Celtics would likely fail in their attempt to convince either star to sign an extension this summer.