The Boston Celtics are “open for business” this trade season — well, sort of.
Understandably, the organization remains closed to the prospect of breaking up the All-Star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But besides that, yes, they are indeed open for business. That is according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who on January 10 reported that while the Celtics have shown “no inclination” to move Brown, Brad Stevens and company are willing and ready to talk potential trades surrounding other supporting players on the roster.
With Brown off the table, Tatum untouchable and Rob Williams showing flashes of being a long-term fixture, chances are that most trade discussions in Boston will run through the likes of Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson. Both acquired by the Celtics this offseason with the idea that their stint in Beantown could be short-lived, Schroder and Richardson’s skillsets present perceived value to contending squads. According to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, one of those contending teams who could be interested in their services is the Utah Jazz.
“Left untouched, Utah is a title contender. But it needs to juice up its wing defense and backup playmaking to be viewed in the same menacing light as Golden State or Phoenix,” wrote Favale, who proceeded to present a trade proposal that he believes “checks both boxes.”
Celtics Add Much-Needed Shooting in B/R Proposal
Here’s how the hypothetical deal shapes up and Favale’s reasoning behind it:
- Boston Celtics Receive:
- Joe Ingles
- Jared Butler
- Memphis’ 2022 second-round pick
- 2023 first-round swap (pending Utah’s 2022 obligation to Memphis)
- Utah Jazz Receive:
- Josh Richardson
- Dennis Schroder
Richardson is (quietly) canning more than 39 percent of his threes and defending everywhere from the point of attack up to heftier assignments. Schroder is erratic, but he’s a passing (and rim-pressure) upgrade over the Trent Forrest minutes. Jettisoning Ingles is an emotional gut punch. The Jazz can’t afford to care. He has been up and down for most of this season, and his defensive utility is on the decline. Adding Jared Butler and a first-round swap shouldn’t worry Utah.
Things get interesting if the Celtics demand an actual first-round pick. The Jazz can’t provide one until 2026. They’re so win-now it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, but Boston doesn’t necessarily have the leverage to force their hand. Schroder is a full-on rental as a non-Bird free agent, and the Celtics are cutting more than $3.5 million in payroll, leaving them less than $3 million away from skirting the tax. They can use Ingles’ secondary playmaking and shooting, as well.
Ingles on the Move?
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Jazz actually entertained the idea of trading Ingles this past offseason, but ultimately decided that moving off the veteran could deal too daunting of a culture hit to the locker room. However, that decision was ultimately made prior to the arrival of former Celtics exec Danny Ainge. And as the folks at Hoops Hype pointed out, “Ainge, as we all know by now, is far less sentimental than most. He’s capable of trading pretty much anyone.”
Ingles, 34, has been mostly delegated to the second-unit this season in Utah, which in return has led to a dip in production. However, even at his advanced age, the eight-year NBA veteran remains one of the league’s best marksman from deep, connecting on 41.2% of his career 3-point attempts. Also a willing defender, Ingles’ two-way play could easily boost Boston’s rotation whether within the starting five or coming off the bench.
As for the other player involved in the proposal, Butler lacks much of an NBA resume. A former second-round pick, Butler is averaging just 2.6 points per game in his rookie season. However, he does have a history of putting the ball in the basket with efficiency. During his final collegiate season at Baylor, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player knocked down 41.6% of his shots from beyond the arc.
Through 41 games this season, the Celtics are the NBA’s seventh-worst 3-point shooting team, converting on only 33.5% of their attempts.
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