According to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are in talks with the Washington Wizards regarding a trade that would send Ray Allen to the Wizards in exchange for forwards Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, according to league sources.
In addition to Allen, the Celtics would be trading Brian Scalabrine and J.R. Giddens to Washington. All three players have expiring deals (though Giddens' contract has a team option at season's end).
"The trade isn’t imminent, but talks have progressed and Celtics GM Danny Ainge has positioned his organization to make one of the boldest trade deadline moves in years," Wojnarowski writes, adding that the two sides could talk further this weekend in Dallas.
The trade could help Boston re-establish its footing in the Eastern Conference, as the Celtics have gone 9-13 in their last 22 contests and have fallen closer to the bottom of the playoff field than the top. Jamison, 33, and Butler, 29, would add depth to a team that has battled injuries all season long. Jamison is averaging 20.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while Butler averages 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
The moving money would nearly match, with Allen, Giddens and Scalabrine combining for $23.2 million and Butler and Jamison combining for $21.4 million in salary. The Celtics would be on the hook for a healthy chunk of change in the future though, with Jamison making more than $28 million over the next two seasons and Butler due for $10.56 million next season. However, as Wojnarowski points out, "most owners are discounting [2011-12] salaries because of an assumption that there will be a labor lockout and some, if not all, of that money will never be paid to the players."
Allen, 34, is scoring 16 points per game, which is his lowest mark since his rookie season in 1996-97. He is shooting 33.8 percent from 3-point range, the lowest such percentage of his career. His assists and rebounds are down, with his free-throw percentage also at 89.2 percent after posting a 95.2 percentage last season.