If it seems like things have been awfully quiet on the NBA trade / free agency front recently, it's because that is exactly the case. Early August is the slowest period on the NBA calendar, and when you add in the Olympics it's easy to figure out why the chatter is minimal.
It's been so slow that the hottest name on the market this week is a 41-year-old man. Ray Allen wants back in to the NBA and the Celtics have been mentioned as a possible destination. Here are some updates on Allen, and others who have been linked to Boston.
The Celtics and Allen have been "in contact" but it's unknown how serious those talks have been. One of the several issues surrounding Allen and the C's concerns roster space. With all the draft picks the Celtics had, in addition to the incoming Al Horford, Danny Ainge would only need a few more signings to trot out a 53-man roster come early October. Ainge needs to subtract at this point (expect to see some sort of roster clearing trade before training camp), not add.
In addition, Allen apparently wants to extend his all-time 3-point shooting record. If that's Allen's prime motivation for a comeback, then we should truly expect Ainge to pass on this one.
Russell Westbrook re-signing in Oklahoma City was a two-fold blow to the Celtics. Unless the Thunder immediately go in the tank with Westbrook running the show this coming season (unlikely), he's staying in OKC and will not be traded.
The plan seems pretty clear now in OKC. They want to reel-in Oklahoma homeboy Blake Griffin and pair him with Westbrook. The Thunder don't have the assets to trade for Griffin, so they'll likely wait this season out and try to sign him in free agency next summer.
Of course, the Clippers will have something to say about that. If Los Angeles gets out to a hot start this season and Lob City is running smoothly, the Clippers could do exactly what the Thunder did with Westbrook - extend him.
The pipe dream for Celtics fans is still very much a pipe dream. Brothel visits aside, the Rio Olympics will only confirm to people that Cousins is a top 10 NBA player, plus there's no way that the Sacramento front office won't at least see if new head coach Dave Joerger can be the Boogie-Whisperer.
In sum, if the Celtics are to finally make that trade for a superstar talent it will likely come during the season. If a team with a top-level talent gets off to an ugly start, that's when Ainge will likely pounce.