Recent Celtics addition Tayshaun Prince will meet with Danny Ainge in Los Angeles ahead of the team's matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday afternoon to discuss the swingman's future.
The 34-year-old was acquired by Boston in the Jeff Green trade last Monday. Prince had not reported to the team prior to this weekend while the Celtics gave him a chance to sort out his future.
The veteran small forward may, understandably, not be interested in finishing the final year of his contract with a young rebuilding team in Boston. The Celtics could use some additional depth on the wing after trading away Green, but would likely prefer to acquire some future assets for Prince's services from a playoff contender.
If the Celtics do opt to pursue a Prince trade right away, there is one team that is already showing interest in his services, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
As Tayshaun Prince prepares to meet with Celtics to discuss future, the Clippers have registered interest in acquiring him, source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) January 17, 2015
If Prince doesn't want to stay in Boston, the Celtics would pursue trade avenues before agreeing to buyout, source said.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) January 17, 2015
The Celtics would likely not demand much of a return for Prince's services, as his overall skills and athleticism have dropped off in his 12th NBA season. However, Prince is still an adequate defender on the wing at a thin position and is averaging 7.3 points in 24.2 minutes per game this season. For that kind of production, Boston should be able to fetch a second-round pick from the Clippers or some other team for Prince.
The problem from Boston's perspective will be Prince's $7.7 million expiring contract for the 2014-15 season. Ainge does not want to add any additional future salary in a trade that may affect his cap room for next season. With that limitation in place, it will be challenging for him to find a playoff team that has the contracts to match salaries in a deal. A third team would likely need to get involved, otherwise the Celtics and Prince may opt for a buyout.
One way or another, a decision will likely be made in the next couple days.