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The Celtics have been involved in a lot of the hottest NBA rumors of the season, specifically involving Ray Allen. Danny Ainge has reportedly been interested in making the team’s core younger, and he has one of the most valuable assets in the NBA in Ray Allen’s expiring contract. Despite all the rumors surrounding the team, they were absent in the biggest move thus far: a seven-player swap between the Mavericks and Wizards involving Caron Butler.
The C’s were reportedly interested in Butler, but they missed out as he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night. The Wizards sent Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson to the Mavs for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton.
NBA sources said that despite not receiving prized point guard prospect Rodrigue Beaubois from the Mavs, the Wizards were so thrilled with making a deal that provided significant cap relief without having to trade Antawn Jamison. They could still trade Jamison in a separate deal for more cap room and/or young talent.
On Sunday afternoon, it appeared the Cavs were ready to trade Zydrunas Ilgauskas and young forward J.J. Hickson to Phoenix in exchange for Amare Stoudemire. Then, other teams in the bidding for the Suns forward, including the Heat and 76ers, began talking to the Suns about upping their offers. The Suns reportedly would prefer a deal with the 76ers that would bring Andre Iguodala to town, but so far Philadelphia has resisted.
Stoudemire would have no place with the Celtics because Kevin Garnett, when he plays, has a stranglehold at power forward, and Stoudemire wouldn’t play enough defense to unseat Kendrick Perkins full-time at center.