The Boston Celtics need to look in many different places in order to put together a team that can get back into the playoffs, gain experience, and win an 18th banner. While the slew of draft picks are wonderful, some of this building might have to come from trades.
Last week we wrote about Omer Asik and his possible return to the trade block. With the Houston Rockets now down 3-1 to the Portland Trail Blazers it might be even more likely.
Now, we are going to look at another current NBA player who does not seem happy in his current situation: Dion Waiters. Waiters just finished his second season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his relationship with star point guard Kyrie Irving seems pretty rocky, and his name was floated before this February's trade deadline as the Cavs desperately tried to get into the playoffs for the first time since Lebron took his talents to South Beach.
When looking at Waiters' numbers a lot of them mirror Avery Bradley's. This past season Bradley scored 14.9 PPG. Bradley averaged one more minute per game this season. Their defense ratings were nearly identical, 109 for Bradley and 110 for Waiters. Waiters is not as good a defender as Bradley, that's for sure. They were both on bad teams that didn't play great team defense.
Their 3PG% were also very similar, Bradley shot 40% and Waiters shot 38%.
So the question is this: could Avery Bradley and Dion Waiters co-exist on this Celtics team? Waiters has started 72 of 131 games he has played in, so he's used to coming off the bench. Bradley will probably command less than the $8 million many thought he would get as a free agent this summer. The injury woes will scare teams off from paying him that mich money.
Waiters is currently signed through the 2015 season with a team option for 2015-16 season also. He's slated to receive $4 million this upcoming season and $5.1 million in the 2015-16 season if the team picks up the option.
That could be a pretty good bargain.
The other player in this is Jerryd Bayless. Bayless was a solid replacement to Avery Bradley when Bradley went down with his ankle issues. Bayless and Bradley are both free agents this summer and Danny Ainge will have to decide who he wants to bring back (he could settle on both of them).
Looking at Waiters, he might be another player that a desperate owner (with a new general manager) might just want to unload because he seems to be causing trouble. Dan Gilbert could be trying to make some moves to try and lure LeBron James back to Cleveland, keeping Kyrie Irving and unloading a troublesome Waiters could be one way Gilbert thinks he could get James back into a Cavs uniform.
If Danny Ainge could convince Gilbert that the 18th pick and one of the future picks from Brooklyn or the Los Angeles Clippers is enough for Waiters, this could a worthwhile move. Sometimes all a player needs is a change of scenery. We all know how bad the scenery in Cleveland is.
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