NBA Trade Rumors: Boston Celtics Looking to Unload Salaries

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Gerald Wallace

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the Boston Celtics, most talk these days has revolved around the franchise’s biggest asset – star point guard Rajon Rondo. While that will continue either until he gets dealt or until the NBA’s trade deadline comes and goes, the Celtics are also considering some other deals to better their team going forward.

According to the latest NBA trade rumors from Chris Broussard of ESPN, the team is open to trading away Gerald Wallace, Jeff Green, and Avery Bradley in order to clear cap space.

Creating room under the cap has become all the rage as teams try to build up on acquiring super talents as they become available in free agency. It’s understandable that the team wants to unload some of these contracts for more affordable players – especially given the franchise’s struggles this year.

When it comes to Wallace, Broussard actually tweeted back in November that the team was potentially working to unload him. At the time, I ironically mentioned that moving Wallace wouldn’t be the easiest thing in the world mostly because of his salary, which still runs through 2016. In addition to the rest of this season, Wallace is owed another $20 million for the next two years. The forward has been only a modest contributor this season and hasn’t shown much of anything … particularly when you look at the amount of money he’s still owed.

Green is a much easier commodity to trade. Like Wallace, he is also on pace to earn about $20 million over the next two seasons, but he’s contributing significantly more on the court and is a younger talent. At 27, Green leads the team in scoring with 16 points per game. He also averages five rebounds per contest and, while his 42 percent field goal percentage is less than ideal for someone who stands 6-foot-9, he makes up for it with the occasional outburst he has from time to time on offense as he did against Washington last week when he accounted for 39 points. Green isn’t what most fans would consider a superstar, but he would be an ideal third option for nearly any team in the league and can be dangerous at times from the perimeter.

Bradley is the oddball here and it’s difficult to see why Boston would part with him. He’s a young guard who has proven he can score, averaging nearly 15 points a game. In addition, for a team like Boston who may be dealing away Rondo, Bradley seems like he could be even more needed in Beantown. Boston didn’t offer him a contract extension before this season and that could cost them as Bradley has played exceptionally well and is likely to command a nice offer over the summer. He’s a restricted free agent, so the guess here is that if he truly is on the market, the team doesn’t believe he’ll be worth what will be required to keep him next year. Bradley isn’t an extraordinary shooter and his negative assist to turnover ratio isn’t that encouraging, but at only 23, he’s not typically a player teams would look to shed.

While unloading Wallace could prove to be difficult, the Celtics have some real assets in Green and Bradley that will draw interest if available. Boston can go in several different directions and chances are this team will look a lot different by next year.

Anson Whaley is a freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and a current member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Mr. Whaley has also been a credentialed member of the media for various events.
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