Well, the Blazers wasted no time gaining more value from the Damian Lillard
trade. After acquiring Jrue Holiday
in the Lillard deal, they flipped him by trading him to the Boston Celtics. Brad Stevens is all in. If the Celtics do not win the title this year, a lot of fans may not forgive him, whether justifiable or not. Here is the trade:
2024 Warriors 1st Round Pick
2029 Unprotected Celtics 1st Round Pick
As a Celtics fan, I like this move for both sides.
For the Celtics, they got a player to replace Marcus Smart
. All we heard the past couple of days was, “Who on the Celtics is going to guard Damian Lillard?” Though Derrick White
would have been a very solid option, it is always great to have more than one option. He traded two Celtic homers in Marcus Smart and Robert Williams III and the 2023 Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. Whether you think those players are good or not, most Celtic fans liked them for the majority of last season. However, objectively speaking, most NBA fans would agree Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis
are better than Marcus Smart and Rob Williams
With this being said, obviously, their main concern is depth. Their best players are Jayson Tatum
, Jaylen Brown
, Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick White, and Al Horford
. All of these guys are established solid NBA players, but after that, their depth is super thin. Payton Pritchard
, Lamar Stevens
, Oshae Brissett
, and Luke Kornet
are names that come to mind, but they will probably need to make either a signing or a trade at the deadline to raise their ceiling.
For the Blazers, their rebuild continues to be successful. In my last article, I said that the best way to start a rebuild is to trade for as many draft picks as possible, and they just acquired two more. In addition to this, they acquired another solid big man in Rob Williams. Though the fit between him and DeAndre Ayton might be awkward, both of them are very tradeable. In addition to this, even though Malcolm Brogdon has his injury concerns, he can almost definitely be traded, and he probably will be eventually, whether it is before the season or at the trade deadline. The Blazers probably will not make the playoffs this year, but they very well might be solid very soon.
Whether all things worked out for these two teams involved in the trade or not, both of them got what they wanted. The Celtics got another player that strengthens their chances of winning a title. However, like every trade, we will not know the true winners until it all plays out.