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Celtics Should Trade Allen for Warriors’ Ellis

Rumor has it the Warriors are ready to offer guard Monta Ellis in a deal that would send Ray Allen out of Boston. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Let me begin by stating that the possibility of the Celtics trading Ray Allen to the Warriors is remote as it is a rumor, and 99% of the time, rumors are either not true or never amount to anything.

With that said, there have been rumors circulating over the past week that the Boston Celtics are considering trading Ray Allen. Consequently, there have also been rumors circulating that the Golden State Warriors have given consideration to putting together a trade package that would send guard Monta Ellis to Boston in exchange for Allen.

The Celtics have addressed the rumors stating repeatedly that they have no intention of moving Allen before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. While I believe the Celtics when they say they have no intention of moving Allen, I think they would trade the 34-year-old if the right offer presented itself.

If the rumors about Golden State offering Monta Ellis to Boston for Ray Allen are true, I think the Celtics would be foolish to refuse.

Money

At 34, Allen is the second oldest player on the Celtics (Rasheed Wallace is the oldest at 35). Allen will be 35 in July, and his three-year, $52 million contract, which is set to expire at the end of the season, makes him the second highest paid player on the team.

With 23-year-old Rajon Rondo recently inking a five-year, $55 million contract extension, and Paul Pierce’s contract set to expire at the end of the 2010-2011 season, it seems unlikely that Boston will offer Allen big money in the offseason. So why not push the remainder of his inflated contract off on another team like Golden State, and acquire a young talented player like Monta Ellis?

Ellis, whose contract is set to expire in 2014, is going to make $11 million per year throughout the next four years of his contract. At 24, Ellis is ten years younger than Allen, and would cost $7 million less per year.

Allen is on the Decline

It cannot be disputed that at this point in his career, the once great Ray Allen is on the decline. Here’s a look at a comparison between Allen’s 2009-2010 stats, and his career stats:

2009-10 Statistics FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G MIN FGM-A FG% 3PM-A 3P% FTM-A FT% OFF DEF TOT STL BLK TO PF AST PTS
Season 49 36.7 278-618 .450 81-240 .338 148-166 .892 0.7 2.8 3.4 .86 .31 1.82 2.14 2.7 16.0
Career 991 37.2 7143-15935 .448 2380-6017 .396 3780-4234 .893 1.1 3.3 4.4 1.19 .19 2.32 2.33 3.7 20.6

As you can see, Allen’s 3PT% is down from almost 40% to 34%. Allen is a prolific three-point shooter, maybe the second best all time behind Reggie Miller, but he has struggled from beyond the arc this season.

Allen’s season PPG average (16) is nearly five points lower than his career average (20.6)

Ellis is Young and He’s a Stud

Monta Ellis is having a monster year for the Golden State Warriors. The 24-year-old shooting guard is averaging 26.2 PPG, nearly nine points higher than his career average. His 3PT% is 33%, which is basically the same as Allen’s, and he is averaging three more assists per game as well.

I think Ellis would fit nicely in Boston. His ability to score would take some pressure off Rondo and Pierce, and his ability to penetrate might give players like Pierce, House, and Wallace more open looks from beyond the arc. One thing is for sure, the Celtics could certainly use some youth. They have six players over the age of the 30 on their roster, and three of them are starters, while another is a key bench contributor.

The Big Picture

The NBA Championship window is closing fast on the Boston Celtics. Realistically, if the Celtics don’t manage to stay healthy, and they don’t acquire some young talent before the trade deadline, their chances of winning the title this year are slim. Boston is 2-8 against the Eastern Conference’s elite, including an 0-4 record against Atlanta.

I’ll conclude with what I think is both a revealing and alarming statistic: The Celtics have lost nine games since Christmas when leading by double-digits.

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