Last night everything seemed to be coming together to get a deal done by Thursday afternoon, the date which the Houston Rockets wanted to trade center Omer Asik. Heading into the late hours of Thursday night discussions have ceased and both sides of have walked away from the table, making another rumor blown out of proportion. The Boston Celtics certainly need help at the center position, and acquiring Asik would have helped this team tremendously moving forward. There is always the chance that this trade could be explored at a later date, but for the time being it doesn’t look like anything is imminent. So where do the Celtics go from here?
Boston needs height to have any chance of contending in the inferior Eastern Conference, but miraculously they’ve survived 27 games into the season without a real center. With Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee staying for the time being, the team can now move forward and prepare for Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards. However, the problem that Danny Ainge tried to address with this potential trade hasn’t been alleviated, keeping Boston’s front court issues exposed until something gets done.
What this potential trade could have brought to Boston was much needed height, and with Rajon Rondo’s return in sight, the Celtics would have had a center and a true point guard back in the starting lineup. Brandon Bass’ contributions would definitely be missed, but for the first time since 2008 the team has depth, with players who can replace and fill the void at the power forward position. Kelly Olynyk needs playing time to develop, and it also allows Kris Humphries, who has been playing well for Brad Stevens, to see more action on the court and not watching on the bench.
Taking a look at what Danny Ainge is trying to accomplish, he’s attempting to create a contender once again, but not in the same way as 2007. The Celtics already have the pieces in place. It’s apparent that when Rondo returns he has the adequate talent around him and a good coach who can lead this team back to the playoffs without a multiple season rebuilding period. Losing Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee would be a temporary blow, but they’re chips that can be used to acquire pieces that fit into a championship caliber team.
Right now all bets are off and most of the players on this Celtics squad are probably fair game. Danny Ainge wants to build a championship team, not a fringe, make the playoffs and lose in the first round team that Celtics fans saw in 2005. Either way, Boston is heading into a good direction whether they make trades or not. But to elevate themselves to the top tier of the NBA, they need size, a healthy Rajon Rondo, and possibly a potent scoring threat other than Jordan Crawford.
Trade season is upon us, and if Ainge has his way, the team will look slightly or vastly different before the trade deadline in February. The next few weeks are crucial and just like the team, the fans will have to hold tight because this ride won’t be a typical Sunday drive.