The Boston Celtics are still one power forward short of having enough depth to handle the upcoming season.
Of course, when Danilo Gallinari was healthy, Boston looked to have one of the most complete rosters in the NBA, but following his recent ACL injury, it would make sense if the Celtics dove back into the trade market.
Sports Illustrated’s Brett Siegel believes he may have found a solution though, as in his September 19 article, he postulates the Celtics making a move to bring Jae Crowder back to Boston.
“Boston has made it clear that they are not afraid to spend money in order to contend for a championship either, which is why increasing their tax bill would not be a problem. Should the Celtics be on the receiving end of a Jae Crowder trade though, they would likely be at least one of two other teams involved with the Suns, meaning that someone like Derrick White, Grant Williams, or Payton Pritchard would likely have to be on the move with a future second-round pick,” Siegel wrote.
Crowder is the type of 3-and-d wing that could give the Celtics some genuine impact on both sides of the court, while also adding some legitimate post-season experience to the rotation. Furthermore, Crowder is well known throughout the Celtics locker room and would easily fit in with the team’s core rotation.
Phoenix Could be Open to Trading Crowder
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Phoenix Suns are open to a potential trade involving Jae Crowder, as they look to improve their roster in order to better situate them for a championship run in the coming season.
“Jae Crowder is a player who is available on the market right now. Whether or not there is going to be a deal for him that materializes before now and next year’s trade deadline, we’ll have to wait and see…From a front office perspective, and the folks I’m talking to, the Phoenix Suns are operating like a championship contender looking to improve their team before camp,” Windhorst said.
Crowder participated in 67 regular-season games for the Suns last season, all of them coming as a starter, and he averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 34.8% from deep and 50.3% from inside the perimeter. If the Celtics were looking for a multi-skilled forward to replace Gallinari, then Crowder could be the ideal fit – assuming the Celtics and Suns could agree on the framework for a potential trade.
Rudy Gay is Seen as Another Trade Option
If Brad Stevens deems Crowder to be too much of an expensive addition, in terms of the assets it would take to acquire him, the Celtics could turn their attentions to another veteran forward that is rumored to be available via trade: Rudy Gay.
On September 19, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey explained why he believes the veteran forward could be the ideal addition to the Celtics rotation, and how a deal to acquire Gay could potentially be done for as little as a second-round draft pick.
“Over the last five seasons, Rudy Gay has moved to the 4 (he even spent nearly a quarter of his minutes at center in 2021-22) and accepted the fact that he’s a reserve. He also shot 36.0 percent from three over that span. If you’re worried about the numbers, Boston has a trade exception that seems almost tailor-made for the acquisition of Gay’s $6.2 million salary,” Bailey wrote in his September 19 article.
However, Crowder still has far more left in the tank than Gay does at this point in his career, and if the Celtics are serious about making another deep playoff run next season, adding their former player back to the rotation could be the ideal move.