Celtics Continue Fire Sale — Trade Jeff Green And Brandan Wright In Separate Deals

Jeff GreenThe Boston Celtics announced Friday that they had agreed in terms to trade Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies for Tayshaun Prince (plus his expiring contract) and a future first-round pick.

The Celts and Grizzlies needed a third team to complete the trade, and so the New Orleans Pelicans are sending former lottery-pick, Austin Rivers, to Memphis in exchange for Quincy Pondexter. The Celtics also completed a trade Friday that will send center Brandan Wright, who came over in the Rajon Rondo trade, to the Phoenix Suns for a conditional first-round pick.
As it stands, the Celtics are set to have at least 14 draft picks over the next two years, six of which would be first-rounders. Danny Ainge is certainly planning for the future, but he cannot build through the draft alone. A marquee free-agent will be crucial to turning around a Celtic team that has struggled in recent years. But if there is a GM in the league that knows how to rebuild a franchise, it’s Danny Ainge.

The Celtics have a very young roster (eight players under the age of 25), and these next two seasons should serve as time dedicated to improving young players, and seeing which guys are a part of the long-term plan. Brad Stevens will coach to win every single night, and this team will have a ton of heart, but this roster is simply not experienced enough to make the playoffs, even in the putrid Eastern Conference.

This trade does however have huge implications on the Western Conference playoff race. Memphis had been rumored recently about wanting to add some wing-depth to their roster. Their main two targets had been Jeff Green and Luol Deng of the Miami Heat. After talks stalled with the Heat, the Grizzlies turned their attention to Green and completed the trade Friday. The addition of Green greatly helps out an offense that already ranked 11th in offensive efficiency. Green will help space the floor, and open up more lanes for Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph to wreak havoc on opposing teams. Green was shooting only 43 percent from the field and 30 percent from deep on the season, but with an improved offense around him, plus two very capable passing bigs in Gasol and Randolph, Green should see many more open looks.

Memphis currently sits at sixth in the Western Conference, but only a half game behind Dallas for the lead in the Southwest Division. After both Dallas and Houston added big pieces to their teams in the past few weeks, Memphis was forced to act. The cost of a late first-round pick and Tayshaun Prince is nothing if Green can help Memphis get over that hump, and finally make it to an NBA Finals.
Phoenix, who currently sits in 8th place in the West, also bolstered their roster by adding PER machine Brandan Wright. Wright has always played great in his limited role, but Phoenix hopes he will be the missing piece in their plan to get back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-2010 season. Phoenix also only surrendered a single first-round pick in the deal, which seems light considering the fact that Denver received two first-rounders earlier this week in exchange for Timofey Mozgov. At this point, I don’t think Phoenix is done dealing. They have several young assets at their disposal, and Gerald Green‘s name has floated out there in trade rumors.

As far as fantasy relevance, I would say to expect a decrease in Jeff Green’s numbers. He will no longer have to carry an awful offense and jack-up terrible shots all game. He will be more efficient in Memphis, but he should see drops in his averages for most categories. Tayshaun Prince still doesn’t strike me as fantasy relevant, but he does see slightly more attractive now that he has switched places with Green. Maybe a change of scenery will help his broken jumper. Wright is somewhat of a mystery at this point. No one knows how much playing time he will receive among a crowded front court featuring youngsters Alex Len and Miles Plumlee.

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About Andrew Chambers

My name is Andrew Chambers, and I am a recent graduate of the University of North Texas where I majored in English. I am a certified teacher, but until I find a permanent position, I have decided to pick up sports writing as a hobby. I have always had an interest, and luckily I have found a few platforms where I can give it a shot.

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