With the Celtics in need of a swingman and the Rockets looking for some salary cap relief, could the C's and Rockets try to work out a deal to swap Shane Battier for Rasheed Wallace (or, essentially, his contract that is due to come off the books)?
Why this works for Boston: Battier gives the C's a veteran presence who can defend small forwards at a comparable level to the departed Tony Allen (signed with Memphis earlier this month); is in the last year of his contract which means the C's won't have to make a long-term commitment which is consistent with the Celtics' approach to offseason additions this summer; one of the more respected players in the league, would be a good fit inside the C's locker room.
Why this works for Houston: With the Rockets inching close to the luxury tax threshold following a brisk offseason, trading Battier for Wallace would save them at least $1 million in salary; Houston has Kevin Martin, Trevor Ariza and Chase Budinger in the fold, creating what appears to be a logjam of sorts at the small forward position when you throw Battier in the mix.
CelticsBlog seems to be in favor of the idea:
If we can get old pal Daryl Morey to sign on, then sign me up.
Blakely also proposes two other deals (James Posey and Nazr Mohammed) that make some sense as well.
So hypothetically, if Houston asked us to throw in a 1st rounder, would you do it? If the Hornets offered to toss in a 1st rounder, would you do the deal for Posey?
ESPN's Chris Forsberg throws on some "cold water" to the situation, though:
While the Rockets might ultimately look at their roster and decide it is indeed in the best interest of the team to move a body in order to trim some cap space, they might not be inclined to do so until the season is underway. Battier's expiring deal benefits them moving forward and could be a nice chip at the trade deadline, depending on the Rockets' needs and performance.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers might have said it best when talking about players like Battier in January. Rivers noted that teams can't get enough guys like him that buy into supporting roles and bring the sort of intangibles that Battier offers. Maybe Houston can't get enough guys like him.