Like it or not, the narrative about the Boston Celtics needing a genuine point guard has resurfaced, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.
Sure, Marcus Smart was impressive in his debut season as a lead guard, but the Celtics’ ability to stagnate against a set defense was a thorn in their side throughout their series against the Golden State Warriors. Perhaps that’s why the fanbase went into recruitment mode after San Antonio Spurs guard DeJounte Murray posted a cryptic tweet on June 21.
Shortly after Murray posted that tweet, Celtics Twitter began to do their thing, and inundated his comments with multiple renditions of “come to Boston”. Here are a few of the more recent comments, to give you some examples.
“Boston awaits you,” @GangCeltics replied.
“You’re gonna rep Celtic green soon,” @MAC10SZN wrote on Twitter.
You can scroll through the comments for the full array of recruiting comments, but it’s certainly clear that Murray is viewed as the type of guard Boston needs – at least from the online fanbase.
Murray Had a Break Out Year
Murray has never been known as a sharpshooter, but his ability to penetrate, find the open man, and/or pressure the rim has never been in question. Sure, in the modern NBA, where spacing reigns supreme, Murray has had to face an uphill battle, but this past season, he proved all the doubters wrong.
Over 68 regular-season games, the six-foot-four guard averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game while shooting 46.2% from the field and 32.7% from the perimeter. Ok, the three-point shot is slightly concerning, but Murray’s size and playmaking ability have made him one of the most exciting young guards in the league, and it’s logical to believe he would unlock a new level to the Celtics’ offense.
To be clear, Murray posted career highs across the board this past season, earning himself his first All-Star appearance as a result. Murray has rapidly become an indispensable member of the Spurs rotation, so it’s unlikely they would be willing to part ways with him this summer.
Murray Fits into the TPE
Let’s assume that through some wild stroke of luck, the Spurs do decide to trade Murray this summer. The Washington native is currently mid-way through a four-year $64 million deal, with his average annual income being $16 million.
You might be asking yourself if Murray’s contract fits into the Evan Fournier TPE, and the answer is yes. But, the bigger question should be ‘who would the Spurs want in return?’ and that’s where things get tricky.
Derrick White recently joined the Celtics from San Antonio, so we can rule him out of any deal, while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That leaves Marcus Smart and Robert Williams as the two most logical candidates – neither of whom will likely be enough to get a deal done with them as the centerpiece to a trade.
So, while Murray is arguably the perfect fit for what Boston is looking for in their next point guard, it’s highly unlikely to occur this summer, no matter how many fans try to recruit him via his comments section.