The Boston Celtics should be dark horses for the NBA Finals this season. However, due to a slow start, injuries, and players going into the league’s protocol the team is currently flirting with a .500 record. Brad Stevens has been rumored to be making calls to various teams including two major sellers this season. Both the Indiana Pacers and the Portland Trail Blazers have come out willing to trade some of their major players for the right price. Other teams have role players that they are willing to move as well.
Indiana in a Seller’s Mood
Indiana has been stuck in mediocrity for the past few seasons. They have the talent to make the playoffs and contend in the first round. Unfortunately, the franchise has been cursed with injuries that have derailed their seasons and playoff runs. After a few years of repeating this trend, the front office leaked out that they are willing to trade players for the right price. This franchise has some very noteworthy pieces. Domantas Sabonis is an offensive machine and an all-star caliber forward. His price would be high, as he is currently having an All-NBA type of season.
The forward is averaging 18.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. The Celtics do not particularly need another center as both Robert Williams and Al Horford have been playing great this season. Adding the forward would definitely improve the team, as he would be a new power forward, moving Al Horford to the bench. The team could run a three-headed post always having a threat down low. The type of matchups, between Sabonis and Horford, Horford and Williams, Williams and Sabonis would create dynamic lineups. Adding Sabonis would allow the team to become more flexible in case of injuries. Williams and Horford are known to not play a full season due to injuries.
Stevens might not be looking for a big trade, but the Pacers have two players that would fit perfectly as role players. Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. McConnell are two point guards that would slide into the identity of the team right away. Both players are tremendous playmakers and elite defenders. Both can play on and off the ball, which is key to a team such as Boston who has two ball-dominant players in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Brogdon is a very under-the-radar player that most executives and fans forget about. The guard is a very efficient player and is arguably one of the smartest players in the league. Currently averaging 19.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, the guard is fundamentally sound. Adding these two guards could provide much-needed guard depth to the Boston roster. With Marcus Smart not shooting particularly well this season, the team could look into finding a more reliable bench scorer.
McConnell is a great fit in Boston, as the team was built to protect the perimeter. Adding McConnell would help benefit Brown as he would have another player alongside him to help guard a Stephen Curry or Jimmy Butler when Smart is on the bench. Adding the guard would give the team a great boost off the bench defensively and could give rest to both Smart, Brown, and the rest of the team.
Myles Turner, Again?
For the past two years, trade talks between the Pacers and Celtics have been centered around one player in particular. This player has been vocal in recent weeks about his role in Indiana. Turner, the defensive center is available for trade once again. Former President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge tried to trade for Turner multiple times but was never able to complete the transaction. Newly promoted Stevens could be different, and the trade could become much simpler.
Turner is a post player and is a very similar type of player to Williams. Both play low in the post and thrive within 15 feet of the basket. Turner is capable of stretching the floor though as he is shooting 36 percent from deep this season. Adding Turner would be much cheaper than Sabonis, but would not be as impactful as his current teammate. Defensively the team is set in the low post with Williams and Horford, while Turner does not supply the necessary offense that Sabonis can, but if the team is desperate for a third low post player he would be a good fit. Minutes would be tight, and the team would have to move either Horford or Williams to the bench.
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