Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Celtics, are, however, still on the periphery of the Tyreke Evans talk, but it was looking Wednesday as if Memphis has better offers. According to one third-party general manager who has been involved in the process, teams like the Celts look to be lying in wait in case more active talks stall.
The notion that Danny Ainge will be exhausting all possibilities until the deadline is supported by the fact the Celts will be waiting until after 3 p.m. Thursday to sign free agent Greg Monroe to fill their disabled player exception slot. They want to maintain flexibility until the last minute in case they need to do some roster maneuvering.
There continues to be a lot of trade talk but little action, even with the sword of Damocles that is Thursday’s 3 p.m. NBA deadline perched overhead.
The free spending days that accompanied the new television contracts have dissolved into a numbers crunch as teams weigh luxury tax implications and try to properly structure their rosters to fit not only in terms of complementary skills, but by salary.
As a result, clubs seem to be interested in trades that look at least as good on paper as they do on the court, if not more so the former.
That leaves the Celtics hoping for a late break in the logjam or, more likely, focusing hard on the buyout market. (Any player waived by March 1 is eligible for the playoff roster.)
As others like Zach Lowe have alluded to, this is looking like a pretty quiet trade deadline, where there’s no shortage of available players, but at a price that contenders aren’t willing to pay. There’s Tyreke Evans, and there are reportedly suitors, the Celtics included, but Bulpett notes that the Cs are hanging around on the periphery.
If 3pm comes and goes and the Celtics stand pat, how will you feel? Evans, Marco Belinelli and others don’t elicit the same type of excitement as Jimmy Butler, Paul George or even Serge Ibaka — names that got Celtics’ fans irrationally excited over the last few years, and the Cs have already improved the roster with the addition of Greg Monroe. If the Cs choose to wait to shop the bargain bin after buyouts, I don’t think many people will be too upset. Really, other than the Cavs, is there a team that has to make a move before this afternoon? Teams value their picks and see the writing of the Warriors on the wall– one deadline move won’t ultimately move the needle enough.
Still, the Celtics lurk, as they always do, given Trader Danny’s nature and his horde of assets.
On page 2, you sure you want Tyreke Evans anyways?
Evans is hitting an excellent percentage of his 3-pointers this year. Currently, he’s at 39.5 percent, good for the 78th percentile among wings, which has been Evans’ position this season so far per Cleaning the Glass.
But Evans started the season hot, making better than 41 percent of his triples for the first three months of the year. In January, his totals fell off. On 6.2 attempts per game, which is more than his season average, Evans is hitting just 29 percent.
That would feel like a blip, if it wasn’t for Evans’ career totals. At 31.4 percent, he’s not only below league average, he’s below the mark that makes 3-pointers a generally agreed-upon positive. For a combo guard/wing, that’s problematic.
There’s a little bit of fool’s gold potential with Tyreke Evans– enough so that I can understand why Danny Ainge won’t get into a bidding war with the Philadelphia’s and the Miami’s of the world. Yet, after watching the Celtics’ second unit get run out of the gym by Toronto’s two nights ago, there’s an obvious need for more scoring off of the bench.
Let’s say the Cs can bring in Evans for a combo of picks and end-of-bench filler, what’s Brad’s playoff rotation?
Starting 5 plus Smart, Rozier, Evans, Morris, Monroe? Theis becomes a defensive specialist? Maybe Baynes goes the way of Amir Johnson in last year’s playoffs. Looking at those names again, I’m not sure there are enough balls to go around for some of those guys to be the best versions of themselves. Can Evans be effective outside of Memphis, where he’s taken on such a heavy load offensively?
I’ll go ahead and make my prediction — the Cs don’t trade for Evans. They don’t trade for anyone. They wait for the buyout market and then strike as a desirable destination with a chance for a scoring wing to get valuable bench minutes on a team aiming to go deep into the playoffs.
And finally, this would be perfect
Bradley on the Spurs just feels right. I’d be so excited to watch him curl around the arc off a screen for open 3s and cut backdoor for easy lay-ups again. Let’s make this happen!