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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Trader Danny is Finally Awake: Let The Summer of Trades Begin!

It is not exactly Kevin Love but at least we have signs that Celtics president Danny Ainge is still alive. Boston finally made some news (albeit not creating much of a splash) this quiet offseason as they were involved today with Brooklyn and Cleveland in a three-way trade that will be official tomorrow. By flipping a second-round pick to the Cavs, the Celts acquired shooting guard Marcus Thornton (from Brooklyn) and center Tyler Zeller (from Cleveland) along with a protected 2016 first-round pick that belonged to the Cavs.

Before you go out and buy a Thornton or Zeller Celtics jersey, be aware that hopefully there's a good chance that neither guy ever steps foot on the Garden parquet as a member of the C's. Kevin Love is still in Minnesota which means that all deals are still possible. That's why this means today's moves are all about getting more assets that Ainge can package to acquire Love or someone else better than their current team of nobodies.

If they are stuck here, Thornton has the better chance of making an impact. Last season, he averaged 8.3 points per game in 24.4 minutes per game on the Nets. In his five-year NBA career, the former second-round pick has averaged 13.4 points per game with 0.9 steals, 3 rebounds, 83% free throw, 36% 3-point shooting and 38% shooting from the field. Like almost everyone on the NBA, he can play. It's all about opportunity which is why he racked up huge numbers (21.3 points per game in 2010-11 and 18.7 points per game the following season) in hapless Sacramento. In many ways, he's like Jordan Crawford-a proven scorer that only does one thing.

I've never been a fan of Zeller or his two overrated brothers either in college or the NBA. I think they're all soft and stiffs. Somehow he was a first-round pick by Dallas in 2012 (17th overall) but surprise, surprise he has failed to live up to those expectations. He had 7.9 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game in 26.4 minutes per game his rookie season in Cleveland. Things got worse last season as he only started nine of 70 games and his numbers dropped to 5.7 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Keep in mind that the Cavaliers will remain a joke if LeBron James doesn't end up returning there. If you're a Celtics fan, we have to be rooting for him to stay away from his hometown and former team since that would undoubtedly make Cleveland much worse and therefore give Boston's protected first-round pick way more value.

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