After the Knicks made inquiries about Rajon Rondo, it brought the collective question in everyone’s heads “who is actually available on this team?”. That’s when Danny Ainge decided to answer by saying that he’d be willing to swap bad deals with the Knicks.
By saying that, Ainge has made it clear that if he can get the contracts of Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace off of the team, he’d be willing to do so. Steve Bullpet of the Boston Herald confirmed that rumor today in his piece about Rajon Rondo’s price.
We’ve written here before that despite the lack of interest in trading Rondo — unless they get the proverbial offer they can’t refuse — the Celtics are still active in the market. Sources continue to say they’d love to move some veteran contracts (think Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace) to put them in a better position vis-a-vis the salary cap.
“I think that we don’t have much flexibility, as much as we would like,” said Ainge. “I wouldn’t say it’s a priority, but we are having conversations.”
It is possible they will have a conversation regarding Rondo some time in the future. But unless it’s part of a blockbuster scenario, it’s fair to assume the talk won’t get very far.
The Celtics are more than just one step away in their rebuild, so some more financial flexibility wouldn’t hurt them one bit. But someone would have to be foolish to bite on Gerald Wallace’s deal–there are multiple years left on his contract.
Now, teams can use the stretch provision to cut Wallace and spread his salary out against the cap over the next few years, but that’s still not something that a lot of teams are willing to do. That’s why we haven’t seen the Celtics doing it.
The Humphries deal would be far easier to move because he’s an expiring deal, but he’s not that much of a productive player. The market for him won’t heat up until the end of the year where teams who think they can compete realize that they can’t and just want to clear some cap space and give away some small-scale deals.
But still, that makes you wonder if Ainge would agree to a deal in question. He doesn’t want to be latched onto anything long term, but a deal for Humprhies may require that. It’s likely that he just rides the contract out into the offseason and then decides to renounce him when free agency hits.