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The Boston Celtics continue to stay busy on the trade front as they look towards the future. After trading away their captain Rajon Rondo last month, it was only a matter of time for the next shoe to drop. Danny Ainge took another step in the rebuilding phase this afternoon, when sources revealed that one player acquired from the Dallas swap just three-weeks ago; Brandan Wright; could be on the move again.
The Phoenix Suns have agreed to trade Wright in exchange for a conditional future first-round pick (via Minnesota) and of course another trade exception worth $5 million was created (the same amount as Wright's salary this season), while taking back no salary in the process. The deal was announced just an hour before the Celtics were set to play the Indiana Pacers.
In a separate deal, Ainge and the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to swap forward Jeff Green for the veteran Tayshaun Prince and another future first-round pick. Prince has an expiring $7.7 million contract, which could be flipped or simply just come off the books at the end of the year. Green is set to make $9.2 million, but holds a player-option for next season also valued at $9.2 mill. Sources say the Celtics leading scorer would have more than likely opted out of his deal this summer to become an unrestricted free-agent. This move essentially saves the C's some money and Ainge gets something in return in case Green decided to walk in July.
The move is still not official, despite Green not being active to play against the Pacers on Friday night, newcomer Jae Crowder was inserted into the starting lineup in his place instead. The C's did force overtime, only to lose 107-103 in Indianapolis. Meanwhile Prince played 25 minutes for the Grizzlies in a 106-95 loss to the Pelicans.
When asked about the reported Green trade after the game; the Celtics coach had this to say:
"I can tell you [Green] won't be with us this weekend," said Brad Stevens.
It's been reported by Yahoo Sports that a third team might be involved to make the trade work for Boston and Memphis. As of now, New Orleans could be in the mix since the deal was not completed by the end of the business day on Friday and might not be officially done until Monday at the very earliest. The reported framework of the deal would have Tayshaun Prince, Pelicans forward John Salmons and future first-round draft pick from Memphis going to the Celtics
Boston would send Jeff Green to the Grizzles while Memphis would send Quincy Pondexter to New Orleans, and the Pelicans would send Russ Smith to the Grizzlies in the proposed deal.
A third team was asked to be involved because of Green's $9.2 million salary, and Memphis wanted to move Pondexter's contact before hand.
Green, who is three-years removed from heart surgery due to an aortic aneurysm today, is averaging 17.6 points this season. He gives the Grizzlies a versatile veteran who can score and defend multiple positions.
Prince is averaging 7.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 25 games this season.
One would think that with 14 picks total in the next two drafts, Ainge has big plans to add to the youth movement or trade for something bigger. Either way, let the overhaul continue.
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