The Boston Celtics are one of the most successful franchises in the history of the NBA. In recent years, they have begun to reassert themselves as top dogs in the NBA. However, they still haven’t made it past the Eastern Conference Finals, despite their talented core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.
One issue that has reared its head several times is their lack of a quality big man since the departure of Kevin Garnett. Although the front office has tried to fix their center issue several times, with the likes of Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis and now Tristan Thompson. None of these bigs have been good enough and that has been a massive problem for Brad Stevens and the Celtics. These are rectifiable issues, though. Here are three trades the Celtics can do in order to get in a high-quality center and finally bring the Larry O’Brien Trophy home.
Trade 1: Myles Turner
Myles Turner, T.J. McConnell
Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, Carsen Edwards, Javonte Green, 2021 First Round Pick, 2022 Second Round Pick
Myles Turner has been linked with the Boston Celtics for years. The Celtics apparently were offered a deal involving their 14th pick in the 2020 draft but rejected that deal. They probably aren’t happy with rejecting Indiana now, since Turner is having an incredible season. He is leading the league with 4.2 blocks, 1.5 more than Rudy Gobert in second place. He is also averaging 14 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists a game for Indiana. Those numbers make him the perfect player to add to these Celtics, especially since he is 6-foot-11 and will be able to square up against bigger players in crunch time scenarios, something the Celtics lacked in previous years. T.J. McConnell is also part of the trade, and will mainly be used as a backup to Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, and will be used so that rookie Payton Pritchard doesn’t get overextended without Marcus Smart.
On the Pacers’ end, they are getting an absolute defensive hound in Marcus Smart, who can fill in the gap left by Victor Oladipo and Caris LeVert‘s unfortunate health issues. They also get a good young center in Robert Williams III, who can help plug the gap left by Turner, while also getting crucial minutes to help him develop into a great player. Carsen Edwards is similarly young and can get more minutes with Indiana than he would at Boston, as his versatility on the court can help this Indiana team, who are missing two very good players in T.J. Warren and LeVert. Javonte Green will mainly just be in this trade to make the money match, and the two picks the Pacers receive can be very useful as either trade pieces, or they can be utilized in the decently deep drafts of the next two years.
Trade 2: Clint Capela
Celtics receive: Clint Capela
Hawks receive: Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, 2022 First Round Pick
Clint Capela is one of the most underrated centers in the NBA. In the Hawks-Timberwolves game recently, Capela became the first Hawk to notch a 10-block triple-double since Dikembe Mutombo, and just the second in the past five years after Anthony Davis. Considering his excellent form at the moment, plus the fact that Capela has prior experience as a center on a contending team with the Rockets, he could be an excellent choice for the Celtics. He is averaging 14.9 points, 14.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist a game, on 56.3 percent shooting.
For the Hawks, trading Capela could be the right move. His current form has helped his trade value peak, and his injury problems could see that value crater again. Getting good role players in Smart and Theis, along with a first-rounder for next-year’s pretty decent draft class, could be a best case scenario for the Hawks. Additionally, this deal frees up a little cap room since Theis is on an expiring contract. If the Hawks use Theis as a stop-gap, then the issue of losing a center of Capela’s caliber will be slightly negated.
Trade 3: Marvin Bagley III
Celtics receive: Marvin Bagley III
Kings receive: Marcus Smart, 2021 Second Round Pick, 2023 Second Round Pick, 2024 First Round Pick, 2027 First Round Pick swap best
Marvin Bagley and Sacramento have not worked out. Bagley was highly regarded when the Kings took him No.2 in the 2018 draft. Unfortunately, Bagley has not been able to fit into the system of head coach Luke Walton, or his predecessors. Although he isn’t a natural fit at center, he offers the rim protection and rebounding ability that the Celtics have desperately needed in the past few years. At 6-foot-11, the pick-and-roll potential that he could have with Kemba Walker or Payton Pritchard this year is incredible. If the Celtics and Brad Stevens can unleash the ability of Bagley in a way that the Kings currently can’t, this deal involving Smart and a few future picks will be an absolute steal.
For the Kings, this deal is a bit iffy. Although getting this many picks can be very helpful in the future, this deal could consign the team to a year or more of added playoff wait. However, Marcus Smart would be an exceptional pickup. At the moment, the Kings preferred guards are De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. Although Fox is a good off-ball defender, Hield simply does not have the abilities required to be a good defender, at least in this system. Bringing in Smart, one of the NBA’s best role-players, will help the defense improve massively. Considering the Kings are shipping over 123 points a game, along with allowing the opposition to shoot above 50% from the field this year, they need the defense that Smart provides.