The Boston Celtics have appropriately 17 hours to become championship contenders. Having players like Isaiah Thomas, Big Al, and Jae Crowder give the Celts a shot to compete for an Eastern Conferecne Finals thumping from the Cavs. But is that really good enough? In my opinion, Boston is a stud player away from giving Cleveland a series. They have the assets to pull off a big deal.. but do they have the stones? Here’s a look at possible scenarios..
Based on the current rumors, Paul George has made it clear that he will opt out of his contract with the Pacers at the end of the season and look for employment elsewhere.. that should be good new for the Celts, right? They can trade the Brooklyn pick (which is all but guaranteed to become the first overall pick) and Marcus Smart for a top 15 NBA player in George, who I may add will be able to effectively cover LeBron in the Conference Finals.. sounds like a splendid deal for both sides.. only problem.. George said he would like to play for his home town Lakers once entering free agency. So, is it worth it to trade the #1 pick and Smart for one shot at LeBron? Personally I would pass on that deal if I were the Celts.
Common theme in this article.. the Celts will be looking to add a player that will not only be able to provide offensive support, but also have the ability to cover LeBron in the playoffs. In my opinion, Jimmy Buts is a top tier defender in the NBA that can actually take LeBron one-on-one (only other person I can think of is Kawhi Leonard tbh). There are many reports that the Bulls are looking to deal Butler because they do not believe he can be the face of the franchise as they begin the rebuilding process. I tend to agree with the Bulls assessment. Jimmy does not strike me as a leader of a team. Which is actually OK for the Celts because he would become their 2nd scoring option behind Thomas and he would fit in perfectly with the defensive schemes. But.. is he worth the 1st overall pick and Jae Crowder.. well, he is locked under contract for a few years which is nice, but I am still hesitant to pull the trigger. I’m not sold that he is the key to beating LeBron.
Paul George & Jimmy Butler
There are no rumors of this in the slightest, so sorry to get your hopes up.. but the Celts do have the assets to make this deal happen.. hear me out:
Paul George for Brooklyn’s 2017 first round pick, Boston’s early 2017 second round pick, and Marcus Smart
Jimmy Butler for Boston’s 2018 and 2019 first round picks, 2017 and 2018 second round picks, and Jae Crowder
That is the definition of trading the farm.. but that deal will make the Celts not only favorites to beat the Cavs but also stacked up well against the Warriors or Spurs. Just a thought..
No.. I hate big men.
If the Celts trade for George or Butler and then get Bogut for a 2018 first rounder, I’d be OK with that.
Keep the Brooklyn Pick
If the Celts are too picky and can’t get the deal they want then it makes sense to hold onto the first overall pick.. LeBron will be 33 years old next season and hopefully for the Celts sake he will be on the back end of his career. If Boston can grab a future star in the 2017 draft then why not hold onto the pick? LeBron will be older and the Celts will have an 18 year old superstar along with a fantastic core of young players. This could potentially set them up perfect for the next 10 years.. but everybody wants to win now, and the NBA draft can be too unpredictable (even with the first overall pick **cough cough Anthony Bennett).
I don’t think getting just Paul George or Jimmy Butler will be enough for the Celts to win an NBA Championship, and that is the real goal if you are trading the future for the present. If the Celts can somehow pull off a deal for both studs then OMG pull the freakin’ trigger.. but like I said, that is highly unlikely. Predication for the deadline.. C’s fans always get their hopes up for a big trade and it almost never happens (especially recently). I believe GM Ainge will hold off from trading the pick and as a result the Celts will not make the Eastern Conference Finals, which will be a huge middle finger to this fan base.