A crucial contributor in Cleveland’s upset over the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night, Parker already had been mentioned over the past few weeks, but potential talks are just starting to heat up now. The latest updates from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein say that the Boston Celtics now are inquiring about the 35-year-old veteran, joining the Chicago Bulls as the leading contender for his services.
The latest rumors speculate that the Cavaliers potentially are demanding a young big man or first round draft picks in any such trade. WFNY’s Andrew covered where Cleveland stands for the future just the other day in his All-Star Break feature, and Scott recently rated Parker as the team’s most likely player to be traded by the deadline on Thursday, Feb. 24.
A product of Bradley University and former Maccabi Tel Aviv star, Parker was signed by the Cavs prior to the 2009-2010 season. Hailed as an above average defensive player and quality shooter, he was supposed to deliver some consistency to a position that had been under constant turmoil for the team over the past decade.
He started all but the final contest of the regular season last year, averaging 7.3 points and 2.9 assists per game, both career lows since his return to the NBA in 2006. But his three-point shooting rate was an impressive 41.4 percent, and that has continued even with the departure of several key players. Cited in the rumors by Stein, Parker is now averaging over 11 points with 47 percent three-point shooting in the month of February.
Both Boston and Chicago are looking for a small move to bolster their playoff-tested teams for the final few months of the season. Marquis Daniels and Delonte West have both been hurt recently for the Celtics, while the Bulls are looking for more scorers to place along the wings in support of Derrick Rose and company.
Looking at the potential offerings of the two teams, it will likely have to be some more of upcoming and future draft picks. Boston does have Glen Davis, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody as potential young big men, but it’s unlikely any of those would make sense for both teams in any trade. The Bulls feature Omer Asik, Taj Gibson and James Johnson, an even more unlikely assortment of matches.
Stay tuned to see how this all unfolds. If the Cavs are interested in testing out what they have in Christian Eyenga, Manny Harris and others however, this seems like a decent opportunity.
(Photo above via Associated Press)