Weekly Q&A Mailbag | Week 2 | Dec 6th - 12th Dec
Brad Stevens tends to go through phases with specific rotations. For example, earlier in the year James Young had an impact on a few games and Jordan Mickey was getting more playing time as well. Now, Young almost never plays and Mickey is in the D-League. My best guess is that Gerald Green simply is not in the rotation currently and at some point he will find his niche with the team. Also, Green is a scorer coming of the bench and right now the Celtics are not having too much trouble scoring. Their concerns are more on the defensive side of the ball as well as rebounding and I am not sure Green would contribute much to those departments. I would like Green to find a role on this team, however, as he is a veteran scorer who can really help this team. He just needs to continue to be patient as he has been. He is a consummate professional and the other week said that part of being a professional is appreciating someone else’s success.
Thanks for the question Joe. I think Danny Ainge and the Celtics would love to be in the mix for Joel Embiid if there was even a slight chance the Sixers were looking to move him. However, I don’t think there is any way that Embiid gets moved. Firstly, the most attractive assets that the Celtics have are young players and draft picks. The last thing the Sixers need to move forward as an organization are draft picks and young players. Secondly, Embiid is an elite talent who is finally playing in the NBA. He is proving why he was justified to be selected as high as he was and it would be a disaster if the Sixers were to wait out his injuries, have him play well, and then let him go his official rookie year. I think Saric, Embiid, and Simmons are the future of the Sixers and they would have to be blown away by an offer to trade any of those guys.
Good question, David. I would be all or a trade to bring Andrew Bogut. Last week I had written about how Bogut should be a trade target for the Celtics. There are a few things that I like about a potential Bogut deal. While he is not much of a scorer, he is a tenacious defender and an excellent rebounder. He is a veteran player who can be a mentor for some of the young players on the Celtics. I also think he could come at a potentially extremely discounted cost. The Mavericks are not going anywhere, so carrying Bogut on their roster isn’t doing anything for them, and Bogut isn’t impactful enough to command too valuable of assets. I think he would fit very well with Horford and would go a long way in helping the rebounding problem the Celtics have faced this season.
This question is in reference to the one point loss to the Rockets. I don’t personally think Marcus Smart is ever worried about drawing a foul. He is an extremely physical player that throws his body around. If I remember correctly, he boxed someone out to clear a path for Horford. That was the correct decision on his part because it gave Horford a wide open layup. The play was run very well, Horford just missed a layup he makes nine out of 10 times. Also, Smart had a ridiculous flop to try to draw a foul on Harden instead of crashing the offensive rebound. Unfortunately, flopping has become a part of Smart’s game and that play is a microcosm of his whole season. He will make a physical, heady play, and then a few seconds later will embellish to try to draw a foul that isn’t coming.
This question comes from THE Chris Pratt. Aka Starlord, aka Andy Dwyer. Jk. Anyways, I don’t think that Danny Ainge won’t do anything, I think he can’t do anything, yet. It is still too early in the season for teams to really know whether they want to be buyers or sellers. Ainge said it himself that the phones really start to light up in the middle of December and that is when real trades start to happen. I know that Celtics fans have not been treated to the fireworks that Wyc Grousbeck all but promised a few summers ago, but Ainge has still made some very good trades. Thomas was a last minute deadline deal that looks better and better every day and Jae Crowder, seemingly a throw-in for the Rondo trade has become a cult hero in Boston. It is hard to remain patient as a fan when names like Paul George, Anthony Davis, and Boogie Cousins are constantly being rumored, but the fact of the matter is blockbuster deals for star players are not all that common. Ainge is waiting for the right time and the right player to cash on his assets and I admire his patience and trust his judgment. You don’t want to make a deal for the sake of making a deal and end up mortgaging your future for the wrong player.
Thanks for the question Swaggy T. Personally, I would do that deal. Smart is an aggressive defender and an extremely physical defender/agitator, but he is simply not impactful enough to justify the 6th overall position that he was drafted. Monte Ellis could be a good scorer off the bench for the Celtics and someone who can play both on and off the ball. However, I don’t know how highly Danny Ainge thinks of Ellis because he was an unrestricted free agent this year and the Celtics didn’t seem to have any interest. The coaching staff and Ainge both love Marcus Smart and want him to succeed and develop.
Thanks for the question Josh. I think at this point, if the Celtics don’t make a blockbuster move for a superstar player that will elevate them to contender status, the best course of action would be to stand pat and use their draft picks. Unless they are getting an elite player, they shouldn’t be in a rush to move what could potentially be a top 5 pick in a supposedly deep draft. They could draft an impact player who is young and under team control while still having the financial flexibility to sign a player in from the free agent market such as Gordon Hayward.
Good question Jacob. I think Brandon Knight is a good player, but not for this team. They already have a surplus of guards and I think ultimately a rotation of Bradley, IT, Rozier, Smart, and Young if he gets any playing time should be good enough. Outside of a superstar at any position, I would focus on trying to acquire a big man who can rebound and play defense. Greg Monroe, as you mentioned, is a player that fits that mold and he is also a pretty good post scorer. Other names I would look at if I were the Celtics are Bogut, Noel, Noah, and one of the bigs from Orlando.
From Eddie via Facebook: How do you think Paul George would fit into the lineup if they were to make the trade, and could you see jerebko taking an expanded role with the departure of key bench players who are said to be included in the deal?
This question comes from another good friend of mine, Eddie. Where Paul George would fit into the lineup would depend on who was traded to the Pacers in the deal. If Avery Bradley was the center piece of the deal, I could see George playing the 2 guard opposite IT. He is a very good ball handler as well as someone who can score with ease off the ball. If Jae Crowder were involved in the deal, George could fit into the SF position, which is where he has played extensively in the past. What becomes interesting is if Amir Johnson is involved in any deal, which is almost guaranteed for matching salary purposes. This is where Jerebko comes into play. I think George is best suited for the SF position, and Brad Stevens loves Jerebko. I think if Johnson and Crowder were traded for George, Jerebko would be put into the starting lineup and have an expanded role in that way. Another change that could happen is Jaylen Brown could be inserted into the lineup so Jerebko could be the impact bench player he has been, but I don’t think Stevens and Ainge believe Brown is quite ready for that leap.
From Justin via Facebook: Would like to see you write about trade rumors, specifically about Nurkic, Jokic, and Bogut.
Another good friend of mine Justin reaching out to me in this week’s mailbag. Those three names would be players I would be very happy with the Celtics acquiring. The Celtics need more big men desperately and these players could be major contributors. What is most likely to happen in terms of a trade out of those three would probably be Bogut just because his price tag will be much lower. I think Ainge will ultimately make some kind of deal, if not for a superstar, it will be for a player like Bogut, Monroe, or Noah. I would love to see Nerlens Noel because he has been rumored as being available for quite some time as well.
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