Jermaine O’Neal. Marquis Daniels. Sasha Pavlovic. Keyon Dooling. Greg Stiemsma. How could the Orlando Magic not bite on an offer like that?
In other words, Howard is most likely not coming to Boston before the March 15 trade deadline. It would take more than the Celtics can probably offer, and without a promise that Howard will re-sign at the end of the season, whatever price the Celtics pay would not be worth it.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t potential trade partners out there. Lamar Odom has requested a buyout of his contract in Dallas, according to a report, although Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said there is no way the team would grant him one. In the unlikely event Odom can get free of his Mavs contract, he reportedly would like to sign with the Celtics or Nets. The 6-foot-10 point-forward would give the C’s a new element on the wing and in the post.
Michael Beasley is also reportedly on the trading block as the Timberwolves look to create more playing time for rookie and dunk contest participant Derrick Williams. Beasley, a graduate of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., scored 19.2 points per game last season, but his shot selection is poor and he’s down to 12.8 points per game this season.
If the Celtics are looking for versatility, they may want to kick the tires on Utah Jazz guard/forward C.J. Miles. In his seventh NBA season out of Skyline High School in Dallas, Miles has struggled with his shot and is playing his fewest minutes in the past four seasons. He averaged double figures in scoring last season, however, and he is a strong defender of shooting guards and small forward.
The Celtics would prefer to get help inside more than anything else, and with options limited, Hornets center Chris Kaman might still be an option. The Hornets have stopped shopping him as aggressively as they have earlier in the season, according to reports, but there’s the belief that the Hornets will try to clear salaries as they seek a new owner. Kaman brings nice size as a 7-footer but his lack of mobility makes O’Neal look like Barry Sanders.
As always, there are dream deals and realistic deals. Getting Howard would be a dream come true for the Celtics, but like the rest of us the C’s are probably operating in reality.