Boston Celtics Trade Targets

Boston Celtics Trade Targets

by March 6, 2021 0 comments

The Boston Celtics are always linked to trade rumors. This season’s trade deadline is fast approaching, and the team has underperformed from their early season expectations. Currently sitting on a 19-17 record, the Celtics are stuck in the middle of the Eastern Conference seeding.

Danny Ainge came out this season and told reporters that the team is showing that they are not a title contender. Ainge would later take fault of the roster and said the team would not stay quiet if possible. Throughout the campaign, Boston has been rumored to be targeting another starter to help bolster their lineup.

It was reported earlier in the season that they tried to acquire Harrison Barnes from Sacramento and J.J. Redick from New Orleans. These rumors had died down, but new ones have surfaced that could help the Celtics this season. 

Nikola Vucevic

The biggest rumor came out recently that the team has shown interest in the Orlando Magic’s All-Star center Vucevic. Seemingly every year, diehard Boston fans have mentioned that Vucevic would be a great fit. The stretch five has been having a spectacular season, and added another All-Star nod by averaging 24.6 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. The 30-year-old center has been stuck on a mediocre team in Orlando for nine straight seasons. His addition to the Boston roster would instantly raise eyebrows; his talent could bring the team back into title conversations. 

The backlash of acquiring Vucevic is that it would insinuate a big haul. The team would have to use the large trade exception they received when Gordon Hayward left in the offseason. They would also have to package a minimum of three players, whether that trade revolves around Robert Williams, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard or Romeo Langford. It could be possible that three of the four of these players would be involved in the trade, along with a first round pick or two. This trade would hurt the Celtics bench rotation greatly but would solidify the struggling starting rotation. It would also solve the center dilemma that the team has been dealing with in recent years. 

A trade would only happen if the Orlando Magic are willing to hit the rebuild button on their current roster. The team has been dealing with injuries throughout the season and are currently in 14th place in the conference with a 13-23 record. They have not had major success with their current roster and have been stuck in mediocrity for years, so the time could be right for Boston to make an offer. 

Jerami Grant

Another player that the Celtics have shopped for is the rising star of the Detroit Pistons. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Boston has inquired about the forward. Grant recently signed a three year contract with the Pistons, who are currently rebuilding. He wanted to play for a team that would give him the keys to the franchise and with a rebuild in Detroit, the fit seemed perfect. The rising star is now the first option for a team is averaging 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. Grant has proven that he is a valuable player in the NBA and is currently in the conversation for the Most Improved Player Award.

Boston loves to run the “small ball” lineup that has three versatile forwards. Grant would be a younger and cheaper replacement for Hayward. The forward would provide another defensive wing to the roster, and would help both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with leading the offense when they are off the court. With Detroit rebuilding, the team already has a plethora of young talent. It would not make sense to trade multiple young talents to a team that is already overloaded with youth. Boston would have to offer the large trade exception, Romeo Langford and a few draft picks. It would be an overpay to add multiple first round picks for Grant, but a first-rounder and a few second-rounders would be manageable for the Celtics.  

Kyle Lowry

There has been some speculation that the Toronto guard will be available before the March 25 trade deadline. Lowry is still a valuable asset to a team. One of the smartest court generals in the league and a very consistent shooter. The Raptors struggled early and rumors started to circulate that the team might change their roster. With a recent surge from the team, those rumors have died down… but not completely. The trade for Lowry would be tough, as the Raptors are still in contention for the playoffs, but it would make Boston instant contenders. It would be crazy to believe that Toronto would trade their star player to another contender in the same division and conference. The Celtics, however, have a lot to offer. 

The trade would include Kemba Walker, Tristan Thompson, two young players (that are not named Robert Williams or Payton Pritchard) and a first round pick. Lowry is on an expiring contract, but has been very loyal to the teams that he has played for. With an expiring contact, teams receive less in return due to the nature of players wanting to test free agency.

No other team would give a bigger haul than the Celtics for a possible one-year rental. This trade would allow Boston to have a healthy point guard who can facilitate the ball while shooting consistently and effectively. It would also open up more playing time for Williams. 

Jeremy Lin

Lin is an underrated point guard, currently dominating the G-League with the Golden State affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors and could be an easy acquisition to help bolster depth. The veteran would provide the scoring and ball movement that the Boston lacks off the bench. The team would not have to offer more than a second-rounder for Lin. The Jeff Teague experiment failed, so it would make sense for a contender to reevaluate that role with a better player in Lin. 

Ricky Rubio

It has become publicly known that Rubio is unhappy in Minnesota. The guard has been criticizing the team’s performances through social media and during interviews. The Timberwolves are currently the worst team in the NBA with a record of 7-29. Rubio is an amazing ball handler and facilitator. Although his offensive shooting is not the most desirable, his playmaking ability and defense is worthwhile. Boston should try to acquire his contract which would provide a much needed playmaking boost to the roster. Rubio has starting potential, and with Walker in and out of the lineup, he could fill in. Off the bench, he would bolster the lackluster offense. 

To acquire the 30-year-old guard, the team might have to trade a Carsen Edwards or a Tremont Waters, along with a protected first round pick or a second round pick. Though the price might seem high, the Timberwolves are thin at the point guard position. 

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