Sources: Pierce, Allen drawing most trade interest

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Sources: Pierce, Allen drawing most trade interest

BOSTON With the trading deadline two weeks away, multiple league sources indicate that Paul Pierce and Ray Allen -- not Rajon Rondo -- are drawing the most interest from potential trade partners.

And since players signed during the offseason are able to be traded beginning today, the Celtics -- just like every other team -- have even more options to choose from when it comes to making a deal.

As for the two most sought-after Celtics, Allen and Pierce, it's clear why each is indeed in demand.

Allen has a skillset -- the ability to shoot the ball -- that fits in with any team. And with a 10 million expiring contract, there are a number of teams that could benefit from adding the NBA's all-time 3-point shooting king. Among those believed to have some interest in Allen, are the Los Angeles Clippers. With the season-ending injury to Chauncey Billups, the Clippers have a huge void to fill at the shooting guard position.

As for Pierce, he still has two years remaining on his contract after this season (the final year is partially guaranteed), but he's still one of the better one-on-one scorers in the NBA. Adding a player like Pierce, either as a starter or coming off the bench, could provide some much-needed depth to a title contender or a playoff team looking to improve their standing. Some of the teams believed to have interest in Pierce include both of his hometown teams -- the Los Angeles Lakers and the Clippers -- as well as the Houston Rockets.

Complicating matters for all teams in the mood to make a deal, is Dwight Howard's situation in Orlando.

The Magic appear to be focused on trying to surround Howard with the kind of talent he wants to play with, rather than grant his request for a trade.

Until there's greater clarity on his situation, a number of teams are reluctant to make a major move.

One of the rumors that made the rounds recently involved Orlando and Golden State having talks about a deal that would send Monta Ellis to Orlando. But multiple reports out of the Bay Area shot that rumor down.

Ellis is a player who has been linked with the Celtics in the past, but the two sides are not currently in talks about a trade. In addition, a league source said the C's are not actively discussing a trade for Stephen Curry but have expressed some interest.

Other players that the C's have been linked with via trade recently include Minnesota's Michael Beasley and Dallas' Lamar Odom.

In terms of Beasley and Odom, it appears that Jermaine O'Neal would be the Celtics player most likely to be included in such a deal.

The Timberwolves would likely want more than O'Neal for Beasley, but that's not necessarily the case with the Mavs and Odom.

When the Celtics were pursuing a trade for David West, they needed a third team to pull the deal off. That third team was going to be Dallas, which would have received O'Neal if the deal would have happened.

O'Neal, who is out with a wrist injury, played for current Mavs coach Rick Carlisle when the two were with the Indiana Pacers.

But when it comes to acquiring any player via trade, it comes down to one thing: What are teams willing to give up?

So far, not enough to make Danny Ainge pull the trigger.

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.