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The Trade: Boston Celtics trade SF Jeff Green and SG Keith Bogans to the Charlotte Bobcats for SG Ben Gordon, a 2014 first-round draft pick (via Portland) and the right to swap first-round picks in 2016 (top-10 protected).
Why Boston Does It: Cap space and first-round picks. That's what's essential to any real rebuilding project, and it's likely exactly what Danny Ainge is looking for in a trade for Green. By acquiring Gordon's expiring deal worth $13.2 million, the Celtics would get the remaining two years and $19 million of Green's contract off the books completely, freeing up plenty of space for the highly anticipated 2015 offseason.
Although the draft pick via the Portland Trail Blazers will be a late one, it's another chance for Ainge to find a star in the draft or another piece to package for a superstar next to Rondo. In 2016, the Celtics should have a few free agents in tow, so being able to swap picks with Charlotte could be a nice bonus.
Green is a solid forward, but you're in trouble if he's one of your team's best players. Boston should value the cap space and picks much more given the current stage of its rebuilding process.
Why Charlotte Does It: The Bobcats look primed to make the playoffs, but upgrading the starting lineup by replacing either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Josh McRoberts should be a priority. The Bobcats are 29th in the league in three-pointers made, so adding a good perimeter shooter in Green could help quite a bit.
Charlotte has shown the defensive chops throughout this year, but some offensive firepower is needed. Trading a total non-contributor like Gordon for Green could really help the Bobcats make a playoff push, and the risk might not be as big as it appears thanks to the pick being a late one and Bogans' deal expiring after this season.
Green's salary schedule would also match up perfectly with Al Jefferson's, as both players have player options for the 2015-16 season. If Charlotte is serious about contending now and moving forward, using Gordon's expiring deal to get a proven player makes sense.