The Boston Celtics will look drastically different when they take the court for the first time in the NBA season. Brad Stevens, who was their head coach for eight seasons, is now in the front office.
Stevens has shown in the short amount of time that he has been in the front office that he will be aggressive when it comes to reshaping the roster. He has made numerous trades and signings already, as he angles for bigger moves down the road.
Boston never truly capitalized on the blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets that landed many draft picks with the Celtics. The bigger moves are what Danny Ainge, his predecessor, was ridiculed for. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum came from moves on draft day, but they never landed that established star.
Stevens will attempt to do that, as many of the moves made this offseason were done with an eye toward the future. With that in mind, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Stevens made a few more moves despite training camp being right around the corner.
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The Celtics have the same core of their roster heading into the season as they did when the season ended. The supporting cast will be a little different as the team is a little more balanced.
Alas, there are still a few holes that need patching up. Luckily for Boston, there could be a few options available to fill that role. Let’s take a look at the one trade target the Celtics should be watching before the deadline.
Boston Celtics: 3 dream trade targets to pursue with Evan Fournier TPE
After suffering through one of their most disappointing campaigns in recent history for the franchise, the Boston Celtics have made significant moves thus far into their summer vacation which, in turn, makes their prospects much brighter.
In his first few months as President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens has done a tremendous job re-tooling the roster in an effort to better surround franchise cornerstones Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with more complementary talents while also clearing the books for the future along the way.
Though there have been a few noteworthy departures this offseason, with the main one being Evan Fournier who opted to jump ship and sign a 4-year deal with division rival, the New York Knicks, even with these losses Stevens has still managed to make sure the Cs have received some positive gains along the way.
Again, the Fournier exit is a major example of this, for the veteran wing was ultimately signed and traded by Boston and sent to the Big Apple which, in turn, gave the shamrocks a rather lucrative Traded Player Exception worth up to $ million.
With this, for the second straight year the front office finds itself in possession of a TPE that they could potentially use to snag a talent via trade, and, naturally, weve already gone about and discussed a few players that may be worth pursuing.
Today, we take this topic a step further and discuss 3 dream targets that the Boston Celtics could actually absorb into their new $ million exception:
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Boston Celtics: 3 ideal trade targets with $17 million TPE
Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens set out to steal the trader moniker Danny Ainge acquired.
Ainge was busy, but Stevens work never seems done in comparison. There was always a big move that Ainge seemed unwilling to make, and at this point, I truly wonder whether Brad would have the same hesitation if put in the scenarios his predecessor was.
Stevens, of course, hasnt had a move backfire yet. He is still just a roster architect, not an executive who can be judged just yet by how the roster he built has fared.
But until there are games, it seems like Stevens is going to position himself to improve the talent on the teams depth chart.
Armed with a $17 million dollar traded player exception from sending Evan Fournier to the New York Knicks, the trade market is the ideal place for Stevens to pull off his next surprise blockbuster.
To go alongside that, here are 3 ideal targets the Boston Celtics could pursue with the Fournier TPE:
Brad Stevens gets Kentavious Caldwell-Pope back in a starting role
In Los Angeles, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a championship caliber role player alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. With the Washington Wizards, KCP seems destined for a low play-in seed and an early postseason exit.
Caldwell-Pope deserves more, and he could potentially get that in Boston. With two starting spots up in the air, his shooting and big-game experience could push him above the likes of Josh Richardson, Aaron Nesmith, Dennis Schroder, and Romeo Langford into the starting lineup alongside Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and whoever ends up at the 5.
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Trader Brad has arrived. Following a transaction-less NBA draft for the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Stevens orchestrated a few roster shake-ups this weekend. First, he sent Tristan Thompson to the Sacramento Kings as part of a three-team deal that netted the C’s Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando, and a second-round pick from the Atlanta Hawks. Then, Stevens had another trick up his sleeve; he traded Moses Brown to the Dallas Mavericks for Josh Richardson. The Celtics are likely to use the remainder of Gordon Hayward’s TPE to absorb Richardson’s $ million salary.
Now that the Hayward TPE has (probably) run dry, trading becomes more complicated for the green. They do have a new trade exception thanks to the Thompson deal, but that’s worth just around $ million. Nowadays, there aren’t a wide variety of productive players to choose from who make equivalent to or less than this number, as most who do are on rookie deals and seemingly unavailable.
However, the Celtics should explore trading the old-fashioned way and match salaries if they want another high-quality role player. There exist multiple attractive trade targets around the league that Boston could realistically acquire with a package of draft capital and youngsters/salary filler (Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, Romeo Langford, etc). Let’s explore some affordable targets capable of impacting winning right away for a Boston squad hoping to re-establish contender status in
Kyle Anderson: the underrated two-way playmaker
Believe it or not, Anderson belonged in the Most Improved Player conversation, particularly in the year’s early going. Anderson’s month of February with the Memphis Grizzlies (the best stretch of his pro career) accentuated his knack for impacting the game in a cornucopia of ways; across 15 outings, he averaged points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. During this span, his efficiency in scoring the ball was admirable as well, shooting % from the field and % from three on attempts nightly.
Anderson’s offensive toolbox is uniquely diverse at 6’9” and pounds. His playmaking chops have been his trademark skill since entering the pros, and for a good reason: he’s nothing short of an elite facilitator, and the advanced metrics support this sentiment. Among all forwards, only ten finished with a higher assist percentage than Anderson (%) per Cleaning the Glass. Six were All-Stars in
Boston’s playmaking as a team took a significant step back last season. They ranked just 25th in the league in assists at per game, both uncharacteristically low figures for a Brad Stevens-led team. There are multiple possible reasons for this. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown fell into isolation spells from time to time, which meant the ball didn’t swing from side to side with much consistency. Also, the lack of bucket-getters on the Celtics (particularly on the bench) perhaps meant the dynamic duo felt the need to take matters into their own hands more than in the past.
Whatever the case may be behind Boston’s playmaking woes, Anderson’s presence could go a long way towards patching them up. He’s excellent as the conductor in the two-man game, finds shooters on the break, willingly makes the extra pass, and is an ideal inbounder for BLOB sets. Additionally, he can make live dribble passes and turns the ball over quite infrequently (70th percentile in turnover percentage). It’s safe to assume Anderson would instantly be one of the top playmaking options on the Celtics roster.
Fours who can pass, handle the rock, shoot threes at a respectable clip and defend multiple positions are few and far between. With only one year remaining on Anderson’s contract with the Grizzlies, Boston won’t have to break the bank to acquire his services, either. A future first-round pick is presumably enough to stir the pot. The Celtics couldn’t go wrong adding a Swiss Army knife in Anderson to the roster, even if it meant surrendering a late first.
Derrick Jones Jr.: the lockdown defender and persistent offensive rebounder
Jones Jr. will be entering his sixth season in the NBA yet is only 24 years old. After bouncing back and forth between the G-League and pros for the first two seasons of his career, he found his footing as a rotational cog with the Miami Heat and is currently a member of the Portland Trailblazers.
The most attractive feature of Jones Jr.’s game is his on-ball defense. Blessed with a wonderful combination of length (6’7” and a 7’0” wingspan) and athleticism, Jones Jr. is a multi-positional defender who utilizes his physical gifts to get up into guards and wings. His role with Portland was to defend the team’s best player night in and night out, and he did as solid a job as anyone could’ve hoped.
According to BBall Index, Jones Jr. had, statistically speaking, the most difficult defensive assignments in the league on average. Still, he remained a net positive defender; opponents shot % below their season average when guarded by Jones Jr. per NBA.com, including % worse from deep.
The acquisition of Jones Jr. would bring another de facto perimeter irritant to Boston alongside Marcus Smart and Josh Richardson, someone who can consistently check the world’s best players at a high level and make life difficult. The Celtics, once a defensive-minded ballclub, collectively sunk to mediocrity in Jaylen Brown went through some struggles off the ball, and even Marcus Smart, though still a terrific defender, had moments where it seemed he might have lost a step. Jones Jr. isn’t going to be the remedy for all of Boston’s problems on this end. Instead, he’d be a step in the right direction towards resolidifying a defense-first culture.
Offensively, Jones Jr. is a hand-in-glove fit on paper as an opportunistic scorer. Buoyed by his enormous-for-his-size 7’0” wingspan and off-ball cutting chops, he is an efficient interior scorer, having shot 65% at the rim in and 74% the year prior (66th and 93rd percentiles, respectively. Additionally, Jones Jr. is a constant threat on the offensive glass; he averaged offensive rebounds per game with Portland and ranked in the 95th percentile in offensive rebounding. His % offensive rebounding percentage was the highest among all wings who logged at least minutes. Jones Jr. is, without question, one of the top offensive rebounders in the league for his position.
Simply put, Jones Jr. makes winning plays. Whether he’s shutting down an All-Star wing, diving on the floor for second-chance opportunities, or exploring avenues to cut to the rim, Jones Jr. gives % effort and energy on every play. He would be the consummate glue guy for this Celtics team, as he takes pride in doing the little things and would lift some defensive responsibility off the shoulders of Brown and Tatum.
Trade targets celtics boston
Boston Celtics rumors, and some blockbuster trade scenarios for this summer
Pressure is mounting for the Boston Celtics to make a huge move following their premature exit at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Boston finished the regular season with a mediocre record and had to win a play-in game just to make the playoffs. This came after the Celtics earned a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in
Head coach Brad Stevens was clearly on the hot seat, and has moved from his previous position into leading the front office after longtime general manager Danny Ainge announced his retirement.
Boasting two surefire star players in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, its clear that Stevens is not messing around in his new position overseeing personnel. He pulled off a massive trade, sending Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a package that got Boston veteran big man Al Horford, wholl be in his second stint with the team. Boston then made a move for wing Josh Richardson immediately after the NBA Draft.
Below, we look at three additional blockbuster trade scenarios the Boston Celtics should consider this summer, along with the latest rumors.
Boston Celtics interested in Lonzo Ball
According to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Boston has interest in a sign-and-trade for New Orleans Pelicans restricted free agent Lonzo Ball. Per the report, the idea would be to send Marcus Smart, the recently-acquired Kris Dunn and other assets to New Orleans.
Needless to say, the Celtics are in need of help at point guard after trading Walker. Dunn obviously isnt the answer. In Ball, Boston would be acquiring a young guard who is coming off a career-best season and seems to be a long-term option.
Boston Celtics rumors: Team set to trade young players for proven veterans?
Former Celtics front office head Danny Ainge pushed back against trading young assets and draft picks toward the latter part of his tenure in Big D. Thus far, this has not been the case since Brad Stevens took over.
That could continue on the NBA trade market with the likes of Romeo Langford, Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard and Carsen Edwards being made available.
Boston Celtics rotation gets makeover before free agency even opens up
Gone are Tristan Thompson and Kemba Walker from last seasons under-performing group. They have been replaced by Josh Richardson and Al Horford, both of whom figure to see rather extensive minutes in Barring a trade of one of the aforementioned youngsters, this sets the stage for a young Celtics squad heading into next season.
Of Bostons current projected rotation, only Horford and Richardson are over the age of Obviously, this could change if Evan Fournier were to re-sign once free agency opens. The potential of an aggressive Brad Stevens adding a veteran looms in the background, too.
Boston Celtics rumors: Status of Evan Fournier heading into free agency
By making the move for Richardsons expiring contract, Boston created a ton of flexibility. It doesnt have t overpay for Fournier months after acquiring him in a trade with the Orlando Magic. The veteran wing could earn as much as $20 million annually on the open market.
The flurry of trades Boston made following the NBA Draft creates a $ million trade exception that expires in a year. It could potentially be used to find a veteran point guard. Fournier, 27, averaged a mere points on 45% shooting in 16 games with Boston after being acquired back in March.
Boston Celtics blockbuster trade scenarios for NBA offseason
Boston Celtics trade for Pascal Siakam
- Celtics get: Pascal Siakam
- Raptors get: Marcus Smart, Kris Dunn, Robert Williams, Aaron Nesmith, two future first-round picks
Now, this would be the blockbuster that Ainge was not been willing to pull off during his tenure with the Boston Celtics. Moving off two future first-round picks and two young players in Williams and Nesmith would be a huge price to pay. But the status quo just isnt working in Beantown right now.
In Siakam, the Celtics would be adding a traditional four with range to team up with Tatum in the frontcourt. Still only 27, Siakam is averaging points, rebounds and assists on 45% shooting since the start of the season. As for the Raptors, they struggled big time with Siakam as their primary scoring option last season. A hard reset might be in the cards here.
Boston Celtics trade for Domantas Sabonis
- Celtics get: Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday
- Pacers get: Marcus Smart, Carsen Edwards, Robert Williams, first-round pick
Its not yet known what the going rate for Sabonis would be after a second consecutive All-Star Game appearance. What we do know is that the super-skilled big man was subjected to rumors leading up to the March 25 NBA trade deadline. Indiana is also coming off a disastrous campaign and may be in need of starting anew with a rebuild.
In return for Sabonis and Holiday, Indiana gets a top-end perimeter defender in Marcus Smart, two young players and a future first-round pick. From Bostons perspective, adding Sabonis to the mix with Tatum in the frontcourt could turn this team into a legit title contender. The year-old averaged points, rebounds and assists on 54% shooting from the field a season ago.
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Playing for championships is what the Boston Celtics have always been known for, as they are tied with their rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, for the most championships in NBA history with 17 titles. However, reaching the NBA Finals is something Boston has not done since when the likes of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen were leading their franchise.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the two All-Star leaders of this Celtics team now, as Kemba Walker was traded in the offseason. Both young talents had remarkable seasons and will look to build off of their success entering the season, but the rest of this roster is much improved from a season ago.
Marcus Smart will likely assume the starting point guard role on this team, but he is surrounded by plenty of experienced talents in Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder and Enes Kanter, all of which were added by the Celtics in the offseason.
Not to mention, Boston also has a ton of other young talents on their roster who will be utilized in some capacity in Payton Pritchard, Robert Williams, Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford and Grant Williams.
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With a solid balance of experienced and young talents, the Boston Celtics definitely have a chance to be a strong team in the Eastern Conference, but they may still be one piece away from being a true threat against the likes of the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and reigning World Champions, Milwaukee Bucks.
The Celtics were able to work out a deal to sign-and-trade Evan Fournier to the New York Knicks this offseason and in doing so, they created a rather large $M trade exception for themselves. This exception almost acts as a “credit” for Boston in terms of their salaries and they can use this TPE during the season to absorb a player’s salary via trade without relinquishing additional salaries.
READ MORE: Predictions for Latest NBA Trade Rumors: Simmons, Siakam, Dragic, Lillard
This traded player exception that they have from Fournier is large enough to allow the Celtics to go after some pretty talented players in pursuit of making a deep postseason run, so who could Boston look to target at some point during the season?
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Boston Celtics rumors: 3 very early NBA Trade Deadline targets
Boston Celtics Brad Stevens (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
The Boston Celtics have been wheeling and dealing this offseason as new president of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens proving quickly that he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on trades if he believes it helps the basketball team both on the court and in creating some salary cap flexibility.
Stevens made his mark right off the bat by trading Kemba Walker in a deal that brought back Al Horford. Then he made deals to acquire Josh Richardson and Kris Dunn. He then turned around and traded Dunn in a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies to acquire Juancho Hermangomez.
But the move that may pay dividends by once the NBA Trade Deadline surfaces is $ million trade exception created by the sign-and-trade deal with the New York Knicks involving Evan Fournier.
Boston Celtics have another shot to benefit from the value of a trade exception
Great, another trade exception, right? Well, given Stevens’ early resume as a front office executive, it is safe to assume he will use the trade exception when the time is right on a player who can benefit the team.
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In a recent article by Bleacher Report, Greg Swartz makes interesting some way-too-soon NBA Trade predictions. One of which involves the Celtics and that $ million trade exception. While this prediction doesn’t involve adding another major star like Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal to form to a new big 3 along with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, there are some interesting names who could help strengthen the team in multiple ways.
In making his prediction, Swartz writes:
“A trade exception, of course, means Boston doesnt need to send any salary back in return, and can absorb a player or multiple players salaries that add up to $ million or less. Exceptions are good for one calendar year, meaning the Celtics have until July 17, to use it or lose it.
“Players that would fit into this new exception and could be available include Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams ($ million), Orlando Magic point guard Markelle Fultz ($ million) and Washington Wizards forwards Davis Bertans ($16 million) and Kyle Kuzma ($13 million).”
Some interesting names there, especially Kuzma. But, in making early predictions like this, it is hard to know what this team will be under new head coach Ime Udoka.
With the addition of new players like Richardson, Hermagomez and Dennis Schröder along with the return of Horford and Enes Kanter, the Boston Celtics should be a much deeper team, especially if players like Robert Williams, Payton Pritchard, Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith continue to grow.
What will this team even need by the NBA Trade Deadline? Well, as the team is currently constructed, Schwartz’s early prediction has inspired me to look at 3 players who could make an impact. Only one of those players is a player Schwartz suggests. Want to guess who?
Well, let’s explore.
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