NBA Analyst Explains Why Celtics Must Target Veteran Shooter

Getty Images T.J. McConnell of the Pacers against J.J. Redick of the Pelicans shake hands

For the Boston Celtics, it’s officially hunting season.

Given the Celtics (19-17) own a record that’s slightly above .500 and with the trade deadline less than three weeks away, various reports suggest Boston will be buyers at the NBA deadline, this season.

Meanwhile, Jeff Goodman, co-host of CLNS Media’s Bob Ryan & Jeff Goodman Podcast, has an ideal suitor — the New Orleans Pelicans — in mind, for Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

Jeff Goodman On Options For Celtics: ‘If You Put JJ Redick On This Second Unit With Payton Pritchard, It Gives Him A Weapon’

“I think in the buyout market there will be somebody, to me, that can help,” Goodman said. “JJ Redick and his $13 million; the longer you wait, it’s obviously less than that. I just think if you put JJ Redick on this second unit with Payton Pritchard; it gives him a weapon. It gives you somebody that has respectability that you have to guard. To me, it’s also about the veteran presence. A guy that’s been around a long time, that can help in that locker room with (Jayson) Tatum, with Jaylen Brown.

“And, you could put him out with that first unit, you could put him out with those guys and he’s going to space the court. He’s going to give those guys more space.”

Goodman: The Problem For The Celtics, Honestly, Is What Do You Have To Trade?

The Pelicans, according to Goodman, want to head toward the youth route. So, they may not be so hell-bent on holding onto their veteran shooter.

“New Orleans wants to go younger, they want to go younger,” Goodman said. “So, maybe David Griffin would. The problem for the Celtics, honestly, is what do you have to trade? That’s your problem.”

Equipped with what’s projected to be future late-first round picks and the All-Star tandem that’s under contract for the foreseeable future in a relatively weak Eastern Conference where a .500 record will almost guarantee you a playoff spot, the Celtics’ future first-round picks don’t hold a whole lot of weight. Boston’s own future draft picks lose significant value when the team is projected to make the playoffs, year-after-year.

Moreover, the progression from Celtics prospects such as Robert Williams, Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, and Romeo Langford is still, for the most part, inconclusive. Williams and Pritchard — two everyday players in Celtics head coach Brad Stevens’ rotation, this season — hold the most trade value for Boston, at the moment.

However, it could be best for Ainge to hold off on trading his best prospects. Not because Celtics fans are head over heels, already, but instead, because a deep playoff run, this season, could raise the stock of Stevens’ second unit guys, exponentially.

Meaning there could be a bigger fish in the ocean, for Ainge to catch, at the end of the season. Especially, if Ainge hasn’t used the Celtics’ coveted Traded Player Exception.

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