Is It Still Too Soon for The Celtics to Deal?
I’ll be the first to admit that I would love to see the Boston Celtics add a top-tier Small Forward in Jimmy Butler or preferably, Paul George. However, unlike many fans, I have reservations about including Avery Bradley (or Marcus Smart), Jae Crowder, and this year’s Brooklyn pick.
As for Avery Bradley, people seem to forget that, despite missing time due to a lingeringAchilles injury, Bradley is having a career year, posting record numbers in nearly every statistical category; not to mention his impact on the defensive end. If Avery can keep this level of play up, there is absolutely no reason he cannot be an All-Star next season.
The same can be said for Marcus Smart; that is, he has shown improvement every year he’s been in the league. And although his statistics are not necessarily as flashy as some of his teammates’, there’s no denying the fact that Marcus seems to make a game-winning or at the very least, momentum-altering play, in nearly every game.
Jae Crowder has a similar story. Although he has not improved his game to the extent that Avery or Marcus have during his tenure as a Celtic, Jae’s numbers are still very respectable. He’s shooting the three better than he has in past seasons (especially during the first quarter) and it seems he’s looking to be more aggressive on the offensive end. Additionally, like Smart, Jae has great size and defensive ability, allowing him to successfully match up with guys like Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Lebron James. If that weren’t enough, Jae is also a financial steal, only in the second year of a five-year, thirty-five-million-dollar contract. It’s important not to overlook that last detail…
As for the Brooklyn pick, I’m not so sure that giving up the rights to a potential franchise player for Paul George or Jimmy Butler is worth it. Particularly if the Celtics would also be required to part ways with more than one of the aforementioned players. Perhaps the Celtics could instead offer Indiana some combination of picks, an alternative young stalwart, rights to one of Boston’s overseas players, and cash considerations. This would allow Indiana to get a reasonable haul for George and enable Boston to keep its current squad intact.
On the other hand, at this stage of the rebuild, perhaps it would be more beneficial for the Celtics to stand pat in terms of “blockbuster trades.” Instead of going all-in on Paul George or Jimmy Butler, maybe Danny should hold out for a potential Brad Stevens-Gordon Hayward reunion this summer.
In this scenario, the Celtics would be able to retain their assets, all the while bolstering their squad with an All-Star, who would likely continue to thrive under Steven’s leadership and the Celtic’s system. That said, there is always the chance that Gordon Hayward would prefer to resign with Utah. At that point, the Celtics would still have the option to revisit talks with the Pacers or the Bulls, likely having retained their leverage, if not having improved it. After all, at that point, Paul George will only have one year left on his contract and Indiana may feel increased pressure to deal him in exchange for some assets, as opposed to letting him walk away scot-free.