Andre Iguodala

How the Andre Iguodala, Justise Winslow deal impacts the Celtics

How the Andre Iguodala, Justise Winslow deal impacts the Celtics

The Boston Celtics haven't yet made a move ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, but some of the bigger trade dominoes have started to fall.

And one of the most recent deals could have a big impact on the C's.

On Wednesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies agreed to a deal that will send Andre Iguodala to the Miami Heat, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat, in turn, will send Justise Winslow to the Grizzlies as "part of the package" to acquire Iguodala.

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As NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg points out, this deal will impact the the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, especially if Iguodala can get back into game shape quickly enough.

Assuming the 36-year-old Iguodala can shake the rust from his long layoff — remember, he hasn’t played a real basketball game since June 13 and Game 6 of the NBA Finals — then the Heat are adding a veteran player with championship experience and someone that can further help Jimmy Butler bring along Miami’s young core.

The No. 2 spot in the East is valuable real estate because it means likely avoiding a team like Indiana or Philadelphia in a first-round matchup. The Celtics, Heat, and Raptors are set to jockey for those spots over the final two months of the regular season.

Yet it's not just Miami's addition that hurts the C's. They also have a vested interest in Memphis' success, as the Celtics own their 2020 first-round pick, and it's only top-6 protected.

As Forsberg points out, the Grizzlies are basically performing addition by subtraction, as Iguodala wasn't even playing for the Grizzlies before being traded.

Memphis,  meanwhile, adds a nice player — one that Danny Ainge famously lusted over in the 2015 draft — that can further aid their own playoff quest. Remember, Iguodala wasn’t playing and, when healthy, Winslow is a versatile forward who complements the Grizzlies’ young core.

The Memphis pick, top-6 protected but slotted at No. 17 entering the night, could slide even deeper in the draft and it might be just another nudge for Ainge to cash out if there’s an intriguing deal available before Thursday’s deadline.

It's too early to judge the real impact of this trade, but it certainly seems like both teams got better, which is bad news for the Celtics. The Heat got a rugged, veteran defender for their squad while the Grizzlies got something for nothing and should be better off for it.

We'll see if the Celtics make a move to counteract the Heat's move ahead of the deadline. Or maybe the C's will be more willing to deal the Memphis pick with the upstart Grizzlies continuing to look like a legitimate playoff team.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the NBA trade deadline. This Thursday at 2:30 p.m., stream the 2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBoston.com. Then at 7 p.m., tune into our Celtics Trade Deadline Special.

Sorry, LeBron and Cavs, but hero ball is dead

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Sorry, LeBron and Cavs, but hero ball is dead

If any of you old bastards complain about today’s NBA while living in the glory years of the Celts-Lakers in the ’80s you need to open your eyes. For sentimental reasons, I would like the city of Cleveland to get a title, and I do like Lebron James, but the Cavs have no chance. 

You know why?

HERO BALL IS DEAD!

Thank God and praise every assist man from the Cooz to the Big O to Tiny Archibald to Chris Paul. Those old men in San Antonio black with Kawhi Leonard carrying their oxygen tanks taught the superstar-laden Miami South Beach act that passing the ball from point A to point B is always faster than dribbling it. 

In the outstanding hoop series from the late ’70s and early ’80s, The White Shadow, coach Ken Reeves, played by the late Ken Howard, challenges his players to outrun one his full court passes. Of course, they can’t and when the Spurs took it to the Heat four games to one in 2014, I thought of that scene.

The numbers do not lie. In that 2014 series, the Spurs had 127 assists to the Heat’s 76. Last season, Golden State posted 138 assists to the Cavs 95. We should note Cleveland did not have Kevin Love and lost Kyrie Irving after one game in last year’s finals. However, the trend continued last night with the Warriors putting up 29 assists to the Cavs 17. 

Furthermore, the MVPs for the anti-hero ball teams were not the stars of the team. Now, you could say Kawhi Leonard is a star now in San Antonio, but that 2014 series was his true coming out party and, of course, last year Andre Iguodala won the damn thing for the Splash Brothers. 

Somewhere, Red Auerbach is smiling even though his Celtics are not in the hunt. Like Red, any true basketball fan has to feel reborn when watching this game return the style that it was created to play.