“Way Too Early” Trade Targets for Celtics
Photos Credit: NBA.com Graphic Credit: Patrick Mulligan
The Boston Celtics have already had a very eventful offseason – drafting Duke star Jayson Tatum, signing All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward and trading for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.
But with Danny Ainge at the helm, nothing is out of the question. Here are five possible trade targets for the Celtics this season:
Jahlil Okafor, Center, Philadelphia 76ers
Jahlil Okafor has been the subject of recent rumors regarding the Celtics, but he may not be the best fit. Last year, while averaging 22.7 minutes per game, Okafor averaged 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds (according to ESPN). In his second year in the league, he came off the bench behind Joel Embiid, who many consider to be the star of the 76ers, and so he would most likely come at a lesser price than the other players on this list.
While Okafor may be the best “deal” on the market, though, the Celtics need rebounding and Okafor isn’t the man to fill that role. The Celtics ranked 26th in the league in rebounding last year, and 4.8 rebounds from the center would not be the way to fix that issue. Overall, while Okafor would probably be the cheapest option, he would not be the best fit for this Celtics squad.
Kenneth Faried, Power Forward, Denver Nuggets
Kenneth Faried has been the subject of trade discussions ever since the Nuggets signed Paul Millsap and Faried appeared to be on his way to the bench. In an interview with the Denver Post, Faried expressed his frustration with the idea of being on the bench. “I’ll just put it out there for everybody. I’m not a bench player … There are 29 other teams [in the NBA],” Faried said. “If this team doesn’t want or respect me enough to play me minutes that I think I deserve to play, then I understand that. Hey, there’s 29 others. Maybe I’ll go somewhere else and do what I need to do there.”
Because of this new situation, the Celtics may be able to get Faried at a discount, and, according to ESPN, he averaged 7.6 rebounds in just 21.2 minutes per game, so he can provide the the rebounding strength the team needs. Overall, I think the Kenneth Faried trade might be a good fit at a good price for the Celtics.
Marc Gasol, Center, Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol’s name has been tossed around in potential trade rumors, but nothing real has been said from the Grizzlies organization on the subject. If the Grizzlies will engage in talks, though, the All-Star center could be a great fit for this squad. According to ESPN, Gasol averaged 19.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists last year.
One downside to this trade is Gasol’s age – 32 – and his contract – 5 years, $110 million signed in 2015. This would most likely mean the Celtics would have to give up either a package of young stars like Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, or Al Horford. Overall, the feeling is that either one is a serious price to pay, but could be worth it if Gasol is having another All-Star caliber year.
Clint Capela, Center, Houston Rockets
Clint Capela hasn’t been talked about too much, but the prospect of this trade is interesting. Capela is a 23 year-old center who fits the Celtics’ schedule of growth the best. ESPN highlighted that Capela averaged 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in just 23.9 minutes per game. The biggest difficulty with this trade would be pulling him away from the Rockets, who will most likely be a contender this year. Capela is listed as the starting center for Houston, and if he performs, his price may very well skyrocket. Capela is quite possibly the best fit for this Celtics team, as long as the asking price isn’t too much.
Anthony Davis, Power Forward, New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the NBA, no doubt. If the Celtics can get their hands on a player like Davis, they immediately become a team that is in serious contention for an NBA title.
The only problem is that a player like that comes with a very steep price tag. If the Pelicans’ season falls apart from the start, that price may drop, but the Celtics would still probably have to shell out some young talent. They would also probably have to give up Al Horford in order to match Davis’ five-year, $145 million extension that began last year.
Clearly, they would have to give up a lot in order to acquire Davis, but due to the fact that he is already one of the best players in the league and will most likely be one for years to come. If the season turns to tanking in New Orleans and the asking price drops a little bit, this is something that could change the franchise for the better.