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Irish Coffee: Rating ridiculous Celtics rumors

03.02.12 at 2:59 pm ET
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So many trade rumors, so little time.

On Thursday, NBA teams could officially deal players signed this past offseason, and March 15 is the deadline, so Celtics president Danny Ainge‘s phone bill is probably higher than Lindsay Lohan‘s attorney fees at this point.

While Ainge denied actively shopping Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo in an interview on WEEI’s Big Show, he’s made it clear Rondo, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and everybody else — including captain Paul Pierce — are available for the right package. So far, the price hasn’t been right.

We’d be remiss not to mention the current rumors, but let’s be serious about the possibilities. Here goes.

LAMAR ODOM, Mavericks forward

  • Contract: $8.9 million this season; $8.2 million team option next season
  • Stats: 7.7 points (35.7 FG%), 4.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists
  • Rumor: After speaking with a league executive Tuesday night, Hoops Authority has learned that Odom is seeking a buyout from the Mavericks, with his focus set on taking his talents to the Boston Celtics or New Jersey Nets. — Raj Prashad, Hoops Authority
  • Bait: NBA veteran minimum
  • Odds: 10,000,000,000-to-1
  • Reason: For starters, I’d never heard of Hoops Authority before this report. Mavs owner Mark Cuban gave up a first-round pick for Odom prior to this season and lord knows he doesn’t need the spare change, so why would he concede to Odom’s demand? The Mavericks have as good a shot as anybody to make it out of the Western Conference again, and — despite his struggles — Odom could be a key cog in such a run.

Stephen Curry's ankle problems increase the risk of trading for him. (AP)

STEPHEN CURRY, Warriors guard

  • Contract: $3.2 million this season; $4.0 million next season
  • Stats: 15.7 points (48.1 FG%), 6.0 assists, 3.6 rebounds
  • Rumor: In December, the Celtics had discussions with Golden State about a Stephen Curry-for-Rondo deal, and one source says it was Golden State that decided against pulling the trigger. — Chris Broussard, ESPN.com
  • Bait: Rajon Rondo
  • Odds: 1,000,000-to-1
  • Reason: First of all, the Warriors would have to include other players to make this trade work financially (throw in Dorell Wright, and at least we’re talking). Second of all, Curry’s ankles are more brittle than toothpicks. And third of all, Golden State “decided against pulling the trigger”? I’m calling B.S.

DERON WILLIAMS, Nets point guard
RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Thunder point guard

  • Williams’ contract: $16.4 million this season; $17.8 million player option next season
  • Williams’ stats: 21.9 points (40.8 FG%), 8.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds
  • Westbrook’s contract: Signed a five-year, $80 million extension in January
  • Westbrook’s stats: 23.6 points (46.9 FG%), 5.6 assists, 5.0 rebounds
  • Rumor: “Are there five guys in the NBA they might trade him for?” the source said. “If you’re talking Westbrook, Chris Paul or Deron Williams, then you have something to think about.” — Mark Murphy, Boston Herald
  • Bait: Rajon Rondo and Celtics center Jermaine O’Neal
  • Odds: 10,000-to-1
  • Reason: The Celtics would make either trade if a) Williams were willing to sign long-term (if only because it would make the C’s among the favorites to land Dwight Howard), and b) the Thunder would part with Westbrook. Neither scenario is happening. All signs indicate Williams will decline his option or an extension, enter free agency and sign in several locations not named Boston. The Celtics would be crazy to part with Rondo for a couple months worth of Williams. As for Westbrook, Oklahoma City owns the NBA’s best record and may be the favorite to win the title this season. Why would they mess with that?

JOSH SMITH, Hawks forward

  • Contract: $12.4 million this season; $13.2 million next season
  • Stats: 16.0 points (44.4 FG%), 9.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists
  • Rumor: With the Big Three’s window now shut, Ainge is trying to land Atlanta’s Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. — Mitch Lawrence, New York Daily News
  • Bait: Kevin Garnett
  • Odds: 500-to-1
  • Reason: The Celtics would make this deal in a second, but as good as Garnett has been this season, why would the Hawks give up a 26-year-old should-be All-Star for a 35-year-old guy closer to the 19th hole than the 10th tee? Still, the Celtics might have other assets (i.e., Pierce and picks) to land Smith.

MICHAEL BEASLEY, Timberwolves forward

  • Money: $6.3 million this season; $8.2 million team option next season
  • Stats: 12.5 points (43.7 FG%), 5.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists
  • Rumor: Minnesota is pushing hard to relocate his $6.2 million expiring contract and have the Nets and Celtics leaning. — Peter Vecsey, New York Post
  • Bait: Jermaine O’Neal and picks
  • Odds: 50-1
  • Reason: Two reasons I’m guessing Beasley isn’t the brightest of bulbs: 1) He played for at least six different high schools, and 2) he’s been connected to three separate drug incidents in four NBA seasons. And you thought Rondo was a tough nut to crack. With all that said, Beasley is 23 years old, so if the Celtics could get him for J.O. and a second-round pick, they should pull the trigger. But it would probably take a first-rounder, and that price would be too rich for my blood.

PAU GASOL, Lakers forward/center

  • Contract: $18.7 million this season; $19.0 million next season
  • Stats: 16.9 points (50.4 FG%), 10.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists
  • Rumor: The Boston Celtics do have interest in Gasol for their All-Star point guard. — Eric Pincus, HoopsWorld
  • Bait: Rajon Rondo and Jermaine O’Neal
  • Odds: 30-to-1
  • Reason: On WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show, Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski said — while Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant would “love to play” with Rondo — the two teams reportedly never discussed a deal. The swap makes some sense for both sides, as the Celtics would plug a massive hole in the middle and the Lakers would fill an equally mammoth hole at point guard, but the reality is the Celtics would be sending the 26-year-old cornerstone of the franchise to their biggest rival in exchange for a 31-year-old 7-footer. The reward simply isn’t worth the risk.
Read More: Boston Celtics, Deron Williams, Josh Smith, Kevin Garnett
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