Simply put, the Boston Celtics are starved for some shooting. As a team, they currently rank 26th in three-point percentage. The point guard duo of Dennis Schroder and Marcus Smart have combined to shoot just 29.4% from 3-point range. Jayson Tatum’s recent shooting struggles have extended past the three-point line, where he’s currently shooting a career-worst 32.5%. Remember that Payton Pritchard guy? The Oregon product who, a season ago, ranked second amongst rookies in 3-point percentage? The one whose stroke was once likened to that of Steph Curry and Damian Lillard? He’s knocked down just six triples all season.
While the Cs do have a trio of trade exceptions at their disposal to better help them scour the market for sharpshooting, Barstool Sports’ Dan Greenberg believes the team may be best served to push the boundaries a bit. With Buddy Hield’s long-term standing in Sacramento murky at best, the Celtics insider calls on Brad Stevens to pick up the phone and give Monte McNair and the Kings a ring.
A Trio of Celtics Wings Floated in Hield Trade Package
“Hield is an obvious choice given what he’s shown as a high-volume three-point shooter, but he’s expensive,” wrote Greenberg. “This is not something that will be able to be done with a TPE. You’re going to have to give up multiple players and probably at least 1 first-round pick to even get the Kings to entertain the idea.”
With Hield’s perceived trade value in mind, the question becomes, do the Celtics have enough collateral to obtain his services should they seek a deal? A solid place to start from a Celtics perspective would seemingly be including Josh Richardson and Juancho Hernangomez — arguably the two most discussed trade chips on Boston’s roster. From there, toss in one of the team’s young wings and a draft pick, and they may have just enough to pique Sacramento’s interest.
“Could a package around Richardson/Juancho/Romeo or Nesmith and a pick be enough?” Greenberg proposed. “Richardson will be an expiring next year, Juancho is non guaranteed and they could take back a young wing prospect and a pick. It probably won’t be the best offer they get for Hield if they make him available, but I certainly call and ask. He’s already used to coming off the bench in SAC, and I think with what you lose defensively it might be worth what you gain as a floor spacer.”
Hield, who is set to turn 29 years old on December 17th, is enjoying a rather solid 2021-22 campaign. The former Oklahoma star has settled into a sixth-man role nicely with the Kings, elevating his offensive production across the board when compared to a season ago. He’s currently knocked down 40.4% of his 161 3-point attempts — second to only Steph Curry amongst players who attempt 10-plus 3s per game. One of the league’s most lethal shooters from deep, Hield recently connected on his 1,209th bucket from beyond the arc, which is the most in NBA history over a player’s first 400 games.
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Coach Udoka Talks Celtics’ Shooting Woes
While Hield would undoubtedly be a welcomed addition to Boston’s rotation, the Celtics are more than one sharpshooter away from turning around one of basketball’s most inefficient shooting units.
Head coach Ime Udoka dove into Boston’s struggles to connect on shots after what proved to be another lackluster night from the field for the Celtics in their 110-99 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
“Overall, the effort wasn’t the problem with anybody,” Udoka said via The Athletic. “It was just a matter of knocking down shots — It’s gonna put a tremendous amount of stress on your defense to be perfect when you don’t make shots, and sometimes that’s what it comes down to.”
“Several wide-open looks, shooting 11-for-42 from 3, it puts stress on your defense to be perfect when you’re not making those shots,” he continued. “We did what we’ve been doing all year: penetrate, kick and get guys wide-open looks. And we’re not knocking them down. Not going to hold people in the 90s every night, but we have to score more than 99 ourselves.”