Boston Celtics: Good or Bad Deal for Nate Robinson?

Here is a blog submitted by one of my fans. He asked for me to post his reactions toward the whole NBA Trade Deadline, but primarily how he felt about the entire Robinson deal. Here is Trevor Paul, an alum of Wheaton College in Massachusetts writing about the Boston Celtics!

Nate Robinson ... does he help the Celtics?

Okay so, at this time Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry are being swapped for Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens, and Eddie House. On the surface, this makes zero sense for the Celtics. They get a ballhog PG who doesn’t REALLY play point guard and lose one of their “core players” (according to Doc) and few remaining game changing shooters. Really, do we not remember how House could totally change the game with only 6 points? Two huge shots, game changed, that’s Eddie House.

So how can this possibly work for the Celtics? What is the benefit of the trade?

Well consider the climate, there are a lot of factors in play but let’s run them down. First, the Celtics aren’t going to miss the playoffs. An older team will have a good chance in the playoffs with the extra downtime to adjust and recover, so they COULD win this year, but there is NO trade out there that makes it definite, so trading is foolish because you can’t make yourselves DEFINITELY able to win. The only way the trade would make sense is if it is long-term.

So how could this trade work long term? Well, who are the big three free agents next year?

1.) LeBron James  2.) Dwyane Wade  3.) Chris Bosh

What happens to the Celtics next year?

1. Ray Allen’s contract is over, they have him off the books.

2. Nate Robinson’s contract ends this year, that is also off the books.

3. J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker are no longer paid, no matter how minimal that payment is it is still off the books.

Ray Allen, keep or let him go?

The Math:

*Ray Allen’s 2010 salary: $19M

*Nate Robinson-Marcus Landry 2010 salary: $4.5M (theoretically $2.5M given the nature of Nate’s contract)

*J.R. Giddens-Bill Walker 2010 salary: $1.9M team optioned

Realistically reduced salary number: $23.4M off the books next year, still over the cap but significantly lower than before. Now consider the price tag on available players next season…

LeBron James current yearly salary 2010: $15M

Dwyane Wade’s current yearly salary 2010: $15M

Chris Bosh’s current yearly salary 2010: $17M

So, let’s consider the climate of the NBA next year, without being super detailed beyond the above math. At the end of the day, LeBron and Dwyane are going to be hotly pursued. Pundits have talked about chasing down LeBron and getting Dwyane as the “second prize” but no one has really discussed Bosh as the third prize. Apparently it is heavily assumed that Bosh would be going to one of the cities that gets Wade or James, but is that a definite?

Going to Wade or James’ team does not guarantee Bosh a distributing point guard or another low post presence to help him, similar to Gasol and Bynum in L.A. Realistically, it isn’t a great deal for Bosh as it demands a lot of him and puts extreme pressure on him to perform in the clutch to save his team. Not considering salary, going to a team with either a powerful big man or a great point guard is his ideal, not to mention what sorts of veterans might help him at that team.

The Celtics tossed out House and the young guns for a ball-hogging guard that isn’t a true backup to Rondo, but what if Ainge is doing what he did when he acquired Garnett? Thinking longterm, letting the team take a hit now and plotting around the whole thing with a deal that looks blah at first, but hits a homerun? People forget, Celtics fans were totally unaffected by the Allen signing, until we got Garnett and then it was brilliant. Well, what if the Celtics are playing the smart hand in the free agency market?

Bosh could be signed for $18-20M per year in a 2-3 year deal. Suddenly, the Celtics starting five becomes Perkins-Bosh-Garnett,Pierce-Rondo. Pierce, the reigning three point champ, becomes the two guard, taking pressure off of him to drive and work the stud forwards on other teams. Bosh becomes the stud PF, taking on the majority of the scoring work, but with Perkins to play serious defense and score on a wide range of shots and with Rondo to feed him and create his own shots. This is a nightmare starting five for other teams because two former unstoppables (Garnett and Pierce) are no longer being pushed to do too much and the new big three is a high percentage scorer and vicious defender (Perkins), a scorer and developing defender (Bosh), and a fantastic point guard and defender (Rondo). The bench now is as good as it was, without the added pressure of needing to pick-up the starters, which is the biggest problem this year for the Celts.

Could this happen? Uh, yeah, actually it isn’t too unrealistic. Bosh would be smart to come to Boston, potentially smarter than if he goes to wherever Wade and James go, because he has all the support he needs to thrive without feeling pressure to be THE inside presence. Garnett and Pierce could sell Bosh, easily, they did it before and they still hold the esteem to do it again. I don’t care what people say about James and Bosh’s friendship, they do not compliment eachother well enough. There are only a couple things that could ruin this for the Celtics:

1. LeBron and Dwyane resign early, making Bosh the sweepstakes player to chase (unlikely).

2. Boston resigns Robinson longterm (crazy, maniacal laughter from every sensible Celtics fan terrified this might happen).

3. Bosh resigns with Toronto (impossible).

4. Boston signs someone else or resigns Ray (unlikely given their unwillingness to negotiate the deal now).

What will Danny do when the 2009-2010 season is done?

Look, at the end of the day Boston is not getting LeBron or Dwyane, and they don’t need to, but Bosh is actually almost an EASY get. Everyone else is chasing the other two, Bosh is available and potentially he is the best option if you are the Celtics. Young, complimentary star to your other two young stars. Pierce and Garnett leave? Who cares! The core is still Rondo-Bosh-Perkins. Financially it works, common sense says it works, and it is the ONLY possible way the Robinson deal makes sense.

Ultimately that is really what I’m saying here isn’t it? Robinson coming to Boston on an expiring deal is stupid. It is BEYOND stupid, it’s throwing away a great player for this team for a selfish useless, Starbury 2.0 player. Unless this is why. And the more I try to think about it, the harder I try to decide WHY this would happen, the more convinced I am this is why. It might just make sense, it might just happen, and if it does, I might just not be too upset with Mr. Danny Ainge

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