No single team has been more active on the trade market since the end of the NBA season than the Boston Celtics, and they do not appear to be done.
Already beyond the roster maximum, Boston is reportedly interested in trading recently acquired forwards Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries, according to a report from Comcast New England.
The report also suggests the Celtics rebuilding process may have included a trade of point guard Rajon Rondo had the 25-year-old not torn his ACL back in January.
Boston officially ended the eras of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce by completing its trade with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. Along with Garnett and Pierce, the Celtics sent guard Jason Terry and forward D.J. White to Brooklyn for Wallace, Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph, three first-round picks and the option to swap first round picks in the 2017 draft.
That is an impressive haul that could expedite the Celtics rebuilding process, but team president Danny Ainge is also looking to move the three years and $30 million left on Wallace’s contract and Humphries's expiring $12 million deal to cut the roster down to the maximum of 15.
Both players could easily make up for the loss of Garnett on the boards, but their poor scoring abilities make them relatively expendable. No teams have been mentioned for either player yet, but in theory Boston has until July 17 to use amnesty clause and wipe the rest of Wallace’s contract off the books.
Before the injury, Rondo was perhaps the Celtics best trade chip and the idea of moving him has come up plenty of times over the last couple of years.
Rondo has led the league in assists the last two seasons and his length and speed make him a nightmare for opposing teams on defense. His contract is also relatively cap friendly, with two years and nearly $25 million remaining on the deal. Rondo’s been tied to a deal with the L.A. Lakers and New Orleans before, but those deals fell through.
Rondo, Wallace, and Humphries now make up almost half of the Celtics $65 million payroll this season. Humphries expiring deal could be moved to a number of teams looking for cap relief next summer, and Boston could pick up a late first round pick for him. But the Celtics could also keep Humphries just for the cap relief next season.
Moving Wallace or Rondo would free up enough space for Boston to be players during the summer of 2014 free agency bonanza, when LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade could be available.
Ainge may also be positioning the Celtics for a chance at a high draft pick in the loaded 2014 draft, with Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins considered the best prospect since James entered out of high school in 2003.