With the NBA’s trade deadline in less than a week, time is ticking on the all-in Boston Celtics trade that Danny Ainge has been assuring is coming all season. A week after a wild, chaotic, and successful maneuvers by the New England Patriots, that puts all the more pressure a Celtics trade that will move them another step further into being a contender. With time slowly working against Boston, who or what can we possibly expect Ainge to bring in and make this Celtics team better?
Three Possible Celtics Trade Targets
1. Nikola Vucevic
One Celtics trade target that could both be very affordable and bring in some needed reinforcement is Nikola Vucevic. The 2x All-Star big is having a career season across the board, averaging a nightly career-high of 25 points a night with 11.6 rebounds to pair with it. The Orlando Magic is a team that should be looking to sell some of their vets, and moving forward with their young talent like Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, and Mo Bamba. They may try to move on from players like Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon, as their services could be extremely useful in a market looking to compete.
Vucevic is an All-Star caliber player, but in Boston, he may be the team’s third, fourth, or even fifth option, depending on how many possessions Marcus Smart wishes to eat up on a given night. Nonetheless, that is as reliable an outlet as you can find, and his services could be extremely useful in helping combat some of the Eastern Conference bigs. As much fun as Robert Williams may be to watch, as he continues to develop as a young, up-and-coming center in this league. For now, Boston needs reassurance.
2. Malik Beasley
One potential Celtics trade candidate that is not brought to attention enough is Malik Beasley. Currently in the middle of serving a 12-game suspension dealt to him over three weeks ago, Beasley is a major contributor to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ offensive attack, for better or worse reasons. The Wolves have been an absolute dumpster fire this season, sitting at rock bottom amongst the entire NBA with a record of 10-31. Despite all of its young talent, Minnesota’s string of bad luck continues.
Beasley could provide plenty of bench scoring in Celtic green, or could even help bolster the scoring provided in the starting lineup as well. Shooting over 40% from three this season, his services could do wonders for the Celtics, who are in desperate need of another scorer off of Tatum, Brown, and Walker. It may be highly unlikely, but Beasley is a Celtics trade candidate that should not go unnoticed.
3. Harrison Barnes
If a Boston Celtics trade at the deadline were to happen, Harrison Barnes may be the big prize up for grabs. Not the biggest star on the market, but his services on a contending team may be enough to put them at the next level, and at an affordable asking price. The Sacramento Kings are looking to get younger, as Tyrese Halliburton has emerged as a breakout rookie alongside franchise star De’Aaron Fox. Barnes, 28, does not exactly fit the team’s timeline, and Sacramento should be looking to stockpile up assets.
Barnes’ contract fits within the massive Celtics trade exception created by Gordon Hayward’s departure, and he contributes over 16 PPG on 45% from the field and 37% from three. That can be a massive upgrade for the kind of additional scoring that Boston lacks at the moment. Not only that, but Barnes also provides some much-needed veteran playoff experience, championship experience at that.
What Can We Really Expect?
With how active the New England Patriots were this past week, many Boston sports fans are expecting Ainge and the Celtics to make any sort of move, one that will inch this team closer to contention. As the roster sits right now, it is tough to map out how their season will end. They have undeniable talent and star power at the forefront, with plenty of young talent on the come up. However, they need to round out the edges a bit in order to jump to the next level.
A Celtics trade of any magnitude could do just that. Whether it is some needed added depth, or a bonafide scorer, or more veteran leadership, if the Celtics wish to contend in 2021, help is going to be needed.