Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
All things considered, if the Celtics are dead set on competing next year even if Irving departs, I expect the front office to be in the mix on Conley trade talks. The most ideal possibility would be to bring him aboard without giving up Hayward (if Irving creates a trade exception when he leaves), which would allow the Celtics to simply give up picks or non-core talent upon his departure. That would maximize the veteran talent that Stevens has to work with on this roster while also leaving the door open for a deal for Davis if the C’s want to make further win-now upgrades.
Bringing aboard a guy like Conley as a Plan B could also help convince Horford to view the C’s as a contender even without Davis, which would increase the odds of him sticking around instead of jumping ship for a better chance at a ring elsewhere.
It’s hard to envision ownership letting this group go into full teardown mode already even if Irving walks. Barring that unlikely scenario, bringing aboard Conley is a realistic alternative that carries less risk (and less upside) than a blockbuster move like Davis.
Rewind 12 or 24 months ago and thoughts of the asset rich Celtics trading for a 31-year old point guard owed $67 million over the next two years would get you laughed off any chat forum.
But here we are.
BSJ’s Brian Robb lays out a good case for the Celtics moving on Mike Conley should Kyrie Irving bolt. It’s a move that keeps the Celtics competitive while preserving their young core. It also allows them to retain enough assets to make a splashy move (Anthony Davis).
The most logical path of acquisition involves the Celtics sending draft pick compensation (late 1st?) to Irving’s new team of choice in order to facilitate a sign and trade. The S&T creates a $32 million trade exception which allows Boston to absorb Conley’s contract after moving draft picks to acquire him.
In this scenario, the Celtics would keep their 2020/21 Memphis draft pick. What they give up for Conley, depends on the market. The Sporting News reports that Miami is willing to move the #13 pick (provided Goran Dragic opts-out) and salary. Does put Boston’s 14th pick in play? The Jazz and Mavericks are also rumored to have interest in Conley.
My head hurts.
I still have this fantasy that Isaiah Thomas rediscovers his game this summer and make a triumphant return to Boston.
On Page 2, the Celtics lose out on an assistant coach.
The rest of the links
BSJ: Ignoring responsibility (Terry Rozier)
Celticswire: Big Ten DPOY Josh Reaves to work out for Celtics