As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the Celtics have been linked to stars like Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. While the teams and rumors differ, what remains the same is the question the Celtics face. Will Boston be willing to part with young talent and a potentially high draft pick to acquire a major piece to pair with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford?
In addition to the young talent on their roster, the Celtics have the right to swap picks with the Brooklyn Nets in June’s NBA Draft. The Nets sit at the bottom of the NBA standings and have the best chance of any team to land the number one pick. This is especially valuable given the depth of the 2017 draft.
The Veritcal’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Celtics have the most assets to offer the Pacers for George, but it is unclear whether they are looking to acquire the Pacers forward. All indications are Boston has their sights set on Butler.
NBA TV’s David Aldridge reported that Jae Crowder could be the sticking point for the Bulls.
While Crowder does have a cap friendly deal, Butler would be a big upgrade on the Celtics roster. Boston would be wise to hang on to the rights to the Nets pick given they have a good chance at getting another legit star in the draft. Chris Mannix reported on The Vertical podcast the Celtics also seem unwilling to include Jaylen Brown in deals.
Boston had been rumored as a possible destination for Anthony, but Basketball Insider’s Steve Kyler reported neither party is interested.
Anthony has to waive his no-trade clause for any deal to be completed. The Celtics currently are the two seed in the East and are just three games back of the Cavs. There is an open window for Boston to make headway with Kevin Love on the sidelines.
Whether a deal gets done depends on the Celtics flexibility in trading away young assets. For the Celtics to acquire either George or Butler, they are likely going to have to give up multiple young players and draft picks.
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