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In what will become a common headline as we move toward the Feb. 13 NBA Trade Deadline, Celtics guard Ray Allen is rumored to be moving to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis and Vladimir Radmanovic.
While the deal isn’t expected, it’s still pretty interesting to analyze. Why would teams be interested in the 34-year-old Allen? Not only is he still a top sharp-shooter, but he also carries with him a $19.5 million expiring contract, making him one of the most valuable commodities in the NBA.
“I’d like to be here,” said Allen, who appears to be unfazed by the rumors. “There’s no reason to be any other place. I’d love to retire with this organization. [But] that’s up to the team. I want to be here. This team has proven over the decades to be a winner, one of the best in sports, and that’s what this organization plans to do. I’m committed to it.”
Monta Ellis is healthy this year, and it shows: he’s averaging 26.1 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. He trumps Allen in all of those categories statstically, but he’s also the focus of the Warriors offense.
Ellis, who is only 24, was 11 years old when Ray Allen joined the NBA. He has fresh legs and would make an aging Celtics squad way younger and fit to compete over the next 10 seasons.
Radmanovic, who was traded to the Warriors from the Bobcats earlier this season, brings with him some decent size (6’10″) and a sometimes-lethal three-point shot. He had a pretty productive December for Don Nelson’s club, averaging 7.9 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Monta Ellis has had some character issues in the past, and some around the NBA question his commitment to defense. Allen is clearly a better defensive player, but Ellis can learn with age and maturation.
Ellis also requires the ball in his hands to do what he does best. He’s a pretty solid shot-creator, but with Rajon Rondo as the team’s primary ball-handler, the Celtics would initially have some trouble with their offense. The offense runs through Rondo, but would it run through Rondo and Ellis?
Radmanovic was one of the Lakers who really quit on them during the NBA Finals against the Celtics. When in the starting lineup, he was completely nuetralized, as the Celtics did well do defend his three-point looks. Without those looks, Radmanovic is rather useless.
Ray Allen is still good! Why fix something that isn’t broken? Why tie yourself up long term by acquiring Ellis, when you have that valuable commodity in Allen (and his expiring contract)?
I think Danny Ainge should stir around for more offers. The Warriors need the Allen deal to get cap relief, so they need this more than the Celtics. Also, in the middle of one last title run, should the Celtics tear apart team chemistry by trading their only healthy member of the Big Three?
What do you think?