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Celtics interested in Nate?

Nate Robinson #2 of the New York Knicks

Nate Robinson #2 of the New York Knicks has the ball stripped by Raymond Felton #20 of the Charlotte Bobcats. (January 7, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc Spears on Friday mentioned that the Celtics recently inquired about Nate Robinson. Spears, who you should know used to cover the Celtics for the Boston Globe and has pretty strong connections there, didn't expand on the rumor by including any names that would be coming back to New York in that type of a deal.

We got indications from sources tonight that the sides have, indeed, talked but, according to one source there is "nothing yet" happening. A straight up trade between the teams is very difficult because of Robinson's Base Year Contract. The Knicks can only move him at a value of $2 million, though the receiving team would need $4 million in cap space to take him.

I have been told that Robinson wouldn't decline a move to Boston. In December he vetoed a deal between the Knicks and Grizzlies that would have sent Marcus Williams and a draft pick to the Knicks. With the Celtics, Nate can pretty much guarantee himself that $1 million bonus.

Perhaps the Celtics will need to involve a third team -- one with cap space -- to make this deal work.

It sounds like the Celtics are very interested in Robinson, who is averaging 15.9 points per game and shooting 50.4 percent from the field since he was put back into the rotation on Jan. 1 after a 14-game benching. Mike D'Antoni has always liked Eddie House from his days in Phoenix, but House (a catch-and-shoot guard who is making just 39.4 percent from the field this season) doesn't come close to solving the Knicks' greatest need: a playmaking point guard.

Aside from House, there really isn't a match off the Celtics roster, at least among players they'd want to part with in this type of a deal. The Knicks have enough forwards (arguably too many forwards), so they'd have to want a guard in return. House ($2.8M) and Tony Allen ($2.5M) are both expiring contracts. So is Marquis Daniels, but the Celtics want to keep him.

Williams is more of a traditional point guard, but it's not like he's catching anyone's eye in limited time for the Grizzlies.

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