We all know how the summer trade went out for Boston. It was nothing short of awesome as the arguably best point guard in the league, Kyrie Irving, left LeBron’s shadows to play for the Celtics. Though at first, it was hard for the Celtics fans to see Isaiah Thomas leave, it was still for the better.
Never before has the team been this close to being regarded as a Finals-caliber team since their Finals rally from 2008 to 2010. But even though the Celtics seem to be in pretty good shape, this doesn’t mean that Danny Ainge is fully contented with his lineup.
In fact, there are a number of trade rumors that might just improve the Celtics’ arsenal once the trade window starts on Dec. 15. And it isn’t just for the sake of improvement, but it’s more about the team’s unwavering hope to finally dismantle the Cavs and dethrone King James. One way of doing that is by getting the league’s top guns.
Read on to know who’s on this list of possible future Celtics!
We all know what all the 30 NBA teams are clamoring for — an athletic and legit big man. Though there might be a lot of player in that category, Anthony Davis is definitely on top of that list. And in knowing that Danny Ainge prefers younger assets, it makes sense for them to get the Brow.
Yes, we understand, he’s the biggest star of the Pelicans. But his contribution to the team isn’t reciprocated with importance, apart from the fact that the coaching staff doesn’t seem to be wholeheartedly enthusiastic about him.
It’s also pretty clear that Davis is satisfied with the current path the franchise is taking. Having DeMarcus Cousins beside him sure sounds comforting. However, the 24-year-old baller also knows that it takes three All-Stars to win a ring these days.
Joining the Celtics would make perfect sense for him, especially that his gameplay would surely complement Kyrie and the recently-injured Hayward. And don’t worry about Hayward’s recovery, because it’s been confirmed by his doctors that there’s no doubt he’ll be back to his old self.
- Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol, the Spanish seven-footer who defied the odds after proving that he can bring the Grizzlies to the Playoffs’ first round. Being listed an inch above seven feet and showing the world that he’s a legit big/man All-Star, there’s no need to question if he’ll be a perfect fit for the Celtics. Firstly, Brad Stevens’ offense is struggling.
Yes, they’ve got Kyrie. But Kyrie’s not like LeBron who can bring the entire team to his shoulders. What they need is an offensive monster who can also contribute a ton of defense to the team. Secondly, they don’t have a player who’s over seven feet.
Getting Gasol would greatly help their rebounding, blocking, and scoring as well. Doubt his scoring? Well, take a look at his 19.1 PPG. Add that to his 8.6 RPG, and you’ve got yourself a perfect balance of offense and defense. But how can the Celtics muster a trade this big? Gasol’s been in the league for 14 years, and over that time, has managed to increase his net worth (at least in the NBA).
With a current three-year-salary of $22.6 million, it seems like Ainge needs to get some serious funding from this. Fortunately, they’ve got a lot of players to offer. Marcus Smart ($4.5 million for two years) and Marcus Morris ($5 million for two years) might be set free first. But even if they trade out Terry Rozier who’s got a three-year $1.9 million salary, it still wouldn’t be enough to pay for Gasol’s whopping payday.
But if they’re that convinced, then surrendering Al Horford ($27.7 million for three years) is the last choice they’ve got. Then again, everything revolves around money, and NBA’s trade deals aren’t exempted from that fact.
- Julius Randle
Ah, Julius Randle, the Lakers’ 7th overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft. Much has been said about this 23-year-old’s capability to relive LA’s glory days. But even that glimmering ray of hope has faded into oblivion after D’Angelo Russell left for the Nets. Everyone thought they’re the next Kobe-Shaq tandem, but it wasn’t.
Now, Randle’s prowess has been overshadowed by the hype that Lonzo Ball brought to the team. And this just made him less of an important asset and decreased his playing time to only 6.6 minutes per game. This is despite him contributing a decent number to the Lakers’ offense.
With this alone, it would be a great move for Randle to head his sights east and play for the Celtics. After all, the Celtics’ forward, Marcus Morris isn’t doing pretty well with the team. And replacing him with a much better PF like Randle would further strengthen their roster. Compare Randle’s 100.2 defensive rating with Morris’ 105.4 and you’ll see how much this possible trade makes sense.
- DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan is a rare one to behold. Being super athletic and having the guts (and power, of course) to rebound the ball and slam it right in front of your face at one single sweeping sounds impossible. But mind you, that kind of baller is a perfect description of this 29-year-old Clipper.
As what we’ve said earlier, the Celtics is in dire need of a legit big man. Who doesn’t only do rebounds, but score points in the paint as well. Yes, they might be the best defensive team in the league. But it’d surely make a difference if they get a player that does 11.1 PPG and 15 RPB, right?
This possible trade hasn’t yet made it to the headlines, but believe us; it’s even more plausible than some mentioned earlier. But if Brad Stevens would push on with this, then he better prepare a hefty sum of money to amend Jordan’s $21.7 million pay day. Set Al Horford free and they won’t exceed the cap.
- Jahlil Okafor
Let’s face it. The NBA is no home for rookies. The league might put their top drafts in the spotlight for quite some time. But this doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly one of the biggest names in the league. Jahlil Okafor sure knows this reality as this is what’s happening to him.
With a poor defensive rating of 124.3, one can easily dismiss him as the Nets’ weak link. But don’t be deceived by it as this is caused by his lack of playing time. Having only played two games this season, it isn’t that hard to know that his unattractive resumé is all about the minutes.
If he ever makes it to the Celtics, it’s likely for him to receive more playing time, especially that Danny Ainge prioritize the young guns over the more experienced ones. Also, take note that the Celtic is the top defensive team in the league.
Even their bench takes the top spot with a 97.2 rating. With this, it would hurt the team’s defense if they get Okafor. And being only 21-years-old, there’s so much room for him to grow and gain wisdom from his defense-minded teammates.
If ever any of these players get traded to the Celtics, then there’s no doubt that they can go head-to-head with the mighty Cavs. But then again, it isn’t just about the players, but the chemistry of the players as well. After all, that’s what the game of basketball is all about, right?
Nonetheless, the Boston Celtics are surely on the right path. It’s now up to the management and the coaching staff on how they’re going to ensure their series-of-fortunate-events to continue.