The Boston Celtics are struggling this season. Once considered a fringe contender to win the NBA title this season, the team has not been producing. The team is currently 13-13, sitting at the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. The team roster has taken hits throughout the season, as Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker have missed significant time. With Marcus Smart still out with a calf injury for another week, the team’s decline is worrisome.
With the Celtics struggling, NBA rumors start circulating. Danny Ainge is known to always be in talks with teams about a potential trade. In the past week, multiple rumors of players lead to Boston. Players that could make an immediate impact in the starting lineup to players that would just help bolster the bench. One of the most recent trade rumors came to light during a Celtics game against the Sacramento Kings. NBC Sports Boston analyst Brian Scalabrine was praising Harrison Barnes for his veteran leadership and production during his time in Golden State and with the Kings. Later in the broadcast, the former Celtic mentioned the rumors that Barnes could find himself in Boston. Scalabrine then went on a tangent to what Barnes could bring to Boston if he were traded to the city.
Barnes Career and Value
Barnes is a former champion, that played along with great talents in Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. He was the third option for a very legendary offense. His time in Golden State gave him the experience to know what it takes to have a smaller role as a starter for a championship team. This experience is something that is very valuable in today’s NBA. Barnes is a very professional player, accepting every role that has been given to him. A player that can show leadership with a small role is crucial to a team’s development. Udonis Haslem is a great example, as he is the last man on the roster for the Miami Heat. Yet, Haslem’s impact as a veteran leader who has been a multiple time champion was a major key to last year’s success for Miami.
Barnes is still capable of being a starter for most NBA teams. In the case of Boston, he could even start alongside Jaylen Brown and Tatum. Barnes is a great defender who can guard both the guard and forward positions. The veteran forward would help a struggling Celtics defense late in games, as it would help give rest to Brown and Tatum. Barnes is also a very capable shooter, as he is shooting 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep. A career shooter of 37 percent from deep, Barnes could also provide a more consistent shot to a struggling offense.
The Potential Trade
The value of Barnes in trade talks should not have a high price. The Kings are in contention to make the playoffs this season. It would need a suitable price to take away their veteran leader. Even with the Kings in recent reports saying that they have no interest in trading Barnes, a good deal can always persuade a team. Boston has a lot of valuable assets from players to picks. Ainge is not afraid to even get a third and fourth team involved if it means acquiring a player he wants.
Romeo Langford should be on the table for this trade. Langford, who had wrist surgery this summer, has yet to grace the court for the Celtics this season. However, Langford in his rookie season showed out as a great defender. If Ainge adds a first-round pick and center Tristan Thompson, then this trade would best suit both teams. The Celtics would get that third forward to help relieve Tatum and Brown. As the Kings would receive draft capital, a young talented player and a veteran center who could replace a disgruntled Marvin Bagley in the off chance the Kings also traded him away.
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