The NBA season is about a month away, and with free agency over and done with, there really isn’t much to talk about between now and then.
As a result, fans tend to go outside the box and invent topics for discussion to satiate their thirst for basketball. The problem with that is a lot of those conversations birth unintelligible thoughts and arguments that make you want to call up Adam Silver and petition him to start the season 30 days early.
Boston Celtics fans are not innocent here.
Understandably, the New England area (and Celtics fans across the globe) is stoked for the 2016-17 campaign. Boston should be a legitimately good team this year, with All-Star Al Horford now in tow to accompany Isaiah Thomas and a host of young talent that we are all anxious to see.
Heck, there is a solid chance that the C’s may even the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The excitement and anticipation is palpable, and with good reason.
Still, the Celtics are not a “true” title contender yet and fall into the “one player away” category. You know what leads to? Crazy trade proposals.
We have heard countless stars linked to Boston in trade rumors. Some of those rumors had legs. Others were made up out of thin air.
DeMarcus Cousins. Blake Griffin. Russell Westbrook. Jimmy Butler. Kevin Love. Khris Middleton, too (get well soon, Khris).
The list goes on and on.
Now, how many of those players did Danny Ainge have serious talks for? Who knows, but that hasn’t stopped the Celtics faithful from concocting incredibly lopsided trade offers.
To be fair, factions of all fan bases do this, but I’m a Celtics guy, so I’m speaking to Boston fans specifically here.
What we need to understand is that this isn’t NBA 2K. There is no such thing as trade override in the real NBA. You are not going to be able to land a superstar for a crate of deflated youth basketballs.
I have seen absolutely ridiculous trade proposals from C’s fans, and the worst part is that some feel that one player and a draft pick is “too much.”
Look, I get that fans tend to become attached to their players and, in turn, are prone to overvaluing them. However, it doesn’t require that much deep thought to remain realistic.
As a matter of fact, you will be saving yourself a lot of heartache and disappointment if you come to terms with the fact that star players aren’t cheap and that trades for them don’t come around too often.
Look at what the Celtics had to give up for Kevin Garnett in 2007. Sure, in 2016, it looks like a slam-dunk deal, as names like Al Jefferson, Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes were central pieces, but at the time, it was a huge package to surrender.
Now, in all conscience, none of the players fans have speculated about Boston trading for are on the same level as Garnett, but the point still stands.
Let’s take Butler, for example. Many C’s fans see Butler as a trade option, and he is one of the star players that the Celtics have been legitimately linked to in the past. So, there has been actual traction here.
Boston tried to acquire the Chicago Bulls star on draft night, but Ainge moved on due to the exorbitant price. For some reason, some C’s fans seem to have this idea that Butler can be had for a player and a Brooklyn Nets draft pick.
First of all, Butler is entering the second year of an extremely team-friendly five-year contract (player option for the fifth year), so the Bulls have absolutely no incentive to trade him at this point unless he demands it. Heck, even if he does ask out, Chicago doesn’t have to grant his wish.
Second, the Bulls just signed Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Why would they sign two aging, past-their-prime players if they planned on blowing their roster up by trading Butler? It just doesn’t make any sense.
This isn’t to say that Chicago would rebuff any and all offers for its 2-guard, but that if you want Butler, you are going to have to bring the goods.
One young player and a Nets pick isn’t going to cut it.
You’re looking at a deal that would probably start with Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley along with one of the Brooklyn picks, and you’d have to throw in quite a bit more to sweeten the pot. We are talking about a 27-year-old All-Star on a cheap, long-term deal here.
Not trying to squash anyone’s enthusiasm, but come on.
Remember: two sides have to agree to every deal. There are 29 other teams in the league, and their goal is not to help the Celtics win more championships.
In all fairness, Boston probably is one of the most attractive trade partners for teams looking to trade a star, but the C’s aren’t going to acquire an All-Star-caliber player without coughing up a considerable amount of assets.
So, is there a possibility the Celtics make a big splash in the trade market? Sure, but it won’t be for the pipe-dream deals some are imagining.