We are 24 hours away from the NBA trade deadline, and while deadline day almost never lives up to the hype due to many GM's having cold feet when it comes to blockbusters - you can be sure that big-time phone conversation are being held at this hour.
The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski said Wednesday that the Bulls front office is burning up the lines in an effort to trade veteran big man Pau Gasol. Gasol's value around the league right now is interesting to look at. He's 35-years-old, which is ancient in NBA terms, but he's still averging a double-double this year with the Bulls (17.0 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 22.39 PER).
That 17.0 point per game average is not that far of a drop-off from his championship Laker days. Gasol averaged 18.9 points per game in 2008-09 and 18.3 points per game in 2009-10. Last season with the Bulls he was back up to 18.5 points per game. So, there's no doubt the Spaniard can still play.
The Celtics are an interesting team to watch when it comes to this new Gasol sweepstakes. Danny Ainge has always been a Gasol fan. In fact if the Celtics never landed Kevin Garnett in 2007, Gasol was the likely next option for Ainge in terms of bringing in a superstar talent to place next to Paul Pierce.
Gasol has nowhere near the value he had back then, obviously, so the Celtics could get him on the cheap. Kelly Olynyk or Jared Sullinger would be most likely to go in a Gasol swap but if the Celtics wanted to get a set backcourt rotation of, say, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and Evan Turner - Avery Bradley might be the odd man out. Bradley and Gasol make roughly the same amount of salary.
The fact that Gasol can opt out of his contract at the end of this season will give any GM pause, however. If the Celtics were to land Gasol there would probably have to be another shoe to drop on deadline day.