Can Ainge take advantage of changing NBA landscape?

Can Ainge take advantage of changing NBA landscape?
July 11, 2014, 5:15 pm
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Imagine if you will . . .

A world where Kevin Love and LeBron James are on the same team.

That world may be this world soon enough (don't shoot the messenger). I just discussed this actually.

Anyways, what does that mean for the Celtics? Probably nothing you want to hear.

But Danny Ainge can still stay in his own lane - as he has been doing - and continue to slowly rebuild the C's.

Now that James has made his decision, everything starts to fall into place around the NBA.

It was reported that the Rockets' Jeremy Lin is being traded to the Lakers along with a first-round pick in order to clear up cap space to sign Chris Bosh. Well, Bosh ain't happening anymore. He's reportedly signing a five-year, $118 million deal with the Heat. That undoubtedly hit the Rockets where it hurt.

It's hard to believe Rockets GM Daryl Morey won't go another route, though.

They've been on the outs with Omer Asik since acquiring Dwight Howard last season. It had been reported weeks ago that there was a deal agreed upon between them and the New Orleans Pelicans that would send Asik to New Orleans and open up more cap space for Houston. With the Bosh news, who knows now.

The deal hasn't happened yet. New Orleans had been doing everything in their power to make it happen ASAP, but alas, here we are.

If Houston does still end up needing to clear space, what's keeping Ainge from swooping in and offering something like Keith Bogans, Chris Babb, and Phil Pressey for Asik? Those three players are all on non-guaranteed deals, which means the Rockets could instantly clear them off the books. Maybe picks get involved? The Celtics have plenty.

Of course, those three players don't stack up in worth even close to what Asik is, but Ainge masterfully got something for nothing on Thursday with the Cavs, and he could realistically do it again with the Rockets if need be.

The Celtics and Rockets have dealt in the past, and there's zero reason to believe they won't again. They've been loosely rumored to be interested in Asik in the past as well. He fills a need for sure.

As expected, everything is fluid right now - everything is in motion and moving fast. Expect the Celtics and Ainge to keep up - they don't want to be left behind.

And let's not forget that if Love does indeed end up in a Cavs uniform, Rajon Rondo's future with the Celtics becomes even more of a question mark. The thought was that if paired with another superstar such as Love (or Carmelo Anthony - ha! that was fun for a day), Rondo would stick around. Without one? It's difficult to see the Celtics ride out his final season with the team and risk losing him for nothing in free agency.

Rondo-to-Houston won't be happening though. Due to the terms of the CBA, Houston cannot trade Chandler Parsons in a sign-and-trade now. He has already signed an offer sheet with the Mavericks, meaning if the Rockets match it, they have to keep him for a year.

Either way, it certainly feels like a buyer's market right now.

Stay tuned . . .