Built on the star-studded trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker, the Boston Celtics mustered up a mere .500 record in 2020-21, finishing just seventh in the Eastern Conference — their worst finish since 2014-15. Yes, they are still in the midst of a first-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets. Yet, down 0-2 in the series and having been outscored by 33 combined points thus far, it’s highly evident the Cs are in need of some roster shuffling this offseason.
So, what can the Celtics do? Dangling one of the aforementioned players in a trade is likely the quickest way to alter the team’s on-court product. With that said, Tatum is essentially untouchable. As for Walker, the aging point guard boasts a monster contract which makes him virtually unmovable. That leaves Brown — a 24-year-old first-time All-Star, who Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell predicts could be the odd man out this summer.
In return, Maxwell has his eyes on two players in particular. One, a name very commonly engulfed in trade chatter, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. The other, a budding 22-year-old who Maxwell envisions as a “[Kevin] Durant type-scorer.”
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Maxwell Eyes Michael Porter Jr & KAT for Celtics
Maxwell has made the rounds in recent days, including chats with both 98.5’s Toucher and Rich and NBC Sports Boston’s Arbella Early Edition. In both conversions, the two-time NBA champion publically banged the table for a trade to yield Boston the services of either Anthony-Towns or Denver Nuggets rising star Michael Porter Jr.
“Karl-Anthony Towns would be the person I’d like to see — he’s a big that can rebound the basketball,” Maxwell said on Arbella Early Edition. “If you don’t do that, maybe a team like Denver and make a move for Porter Jr. who’s an unbelievable scorer and about seven feet tall.”
Maxwell delved even deeper into his affection towards Porter Jr. as a player while joining Toucher and Rich.
“I think you want a younger player. You want a guy who can score the basketball,” he said. “The guy out there that I love is Porter Jr. that [the Denver Nuggets] can’t afford that to me is a Durant-type scorer. That’s one guy that I would look at that you say, ‘Okay, dollar-for-dollar, I get scoring’ and I think you get a bigger size and somebody maybe who could help them in another way.”
Maxwell on Trading Brown
Parting ways with Brown would be a tough pill to swallow for both the Celtics’ organization and their fans alike. A beloved fixture of the team’s current makeup, the Cal product is coming off a career season where he recorded personal bests in points (24.7), field-goal percentage (48.4%), 3-point percentage (39.7%), assists (3.4), steals (1.2) and blocks (0.6).
However, Maxwell feels as if the team’s bullish commitment to Tatum — albeit warranted — may leave the Celtics with no other choice but to cut ties with Brown.
“You’re not going to trade Tatum, that’s not going to happen. Brown is your next best asset You might have to move him.” Maxwell proclaimed on Arbella Early Edition. “What I see in Brown and Tatum, they’re almost duplicate players. You need something that’s going to be different, a little bit more nasty.”
President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has already come out and hinted at impending roster moves this offseason.
“I think that we will definitely be looking to make some changes in the offseason,” Ainge told Toucher and Rich in mid-May, refusing to delve into how drastic those changes may look. Yet, Maxwell believes Ainge would be willing, and must be willing, to make such a drastic move when push comes to shove.
“You have to be willing to make those kinds of moves,” Maxwell said. “Danny Ainge has always said, and he’s learned from Red Auerbach, ‘Never fall in love with the product because you might have to make changes.’ So I think Danny Ainge is probably looking at it, especially now the way this team has played, and unfortunately here in Boston it’s not about getting to the playoffs, it’s not about getting to the second round, third, whatever. It’s about winning championships. In order to do that, you’re going to have to make some drastic changes for this team.”
- Did Evan Fournier Call Kevin Durant a ‘B***’?: Celtics Wing Responds [WATCH]
- Rival Looking to Reunite Ex-Celtics Starter With Gordon Hayward: Report
- ‘He’s Not an Asset’: Major Doubt Cast on Key Celtics Starter
- ‘Perfect Fit’: Celtics Can Actually Make Trade for Dominant Big, Says Analyst