In light of his recent moves, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens is on the cusp of positioning his team to blossom into championship contenders and could be one move away from seeing it come to fruition between now and the near future.
The February 10 NBA trade deadline is in the rearview. Stevens reshaped the roster not only to fit the Celtics under the league’s tax apron but acquired Derrick White and Daniel Theis, two players tailored to fit the fabric of head coach Ime Udoka’s culture of a defensive-minded approach.
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It also cost Stevens two future first-round picks to get it done, meaning the first-year GM is all-in on building toward the immediate future. Meanwhile, Boston, winning ten of its last 11 games, is only two games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for third place in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics have ascended to the hottest team in the NBA; thus, there’s speculation around the association as to what Brad’s next potential move will be. Many believe it’s the final piece that should push Boston into title contention for the foreseeable future.
NBA Exec: Kristaps Porzingis ‘Fits Perfectly w/Tatum & Brown’
According to one source, Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis is a player who should be on Brad’s radar.
The former Dallas Mavericks big and a second-round pick were sent to the Wizards for guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans ahead of February’s deadline. However, according to one front-office executive, Washington isn’t planning on keeping the 7-footer.
“The Wizards got Porzingis to trade him,” an Eastern Conference front-office executive told Heavy.com. “If he can be anything close to healthy, he fits perfectly with Tatum and Brown and Rob Williams. Good shooter, good help-defender, protects the rim. But Smart, Theis, and Nesmith should be enough there. They can keep Smart and do Derrick White there, too.”
Marcus Smart or Derrick White for Porzingis?
Celtics’ starting point guard Marcus Smart’s four-year, $76.4 million contract extension, per Sportrac.com, kicks in ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. While Boston hasn’t indicated any intention of trading its leading floor general, Smart’s impact of late has arguably been the best brand of basketball we’ve ever seen from the seven-year veteran.
However, on the other hand, White is an asset that could turn into a valuable trading piece for Stevens, exceptionally if packaged alongside Aaron Nesmith and Theis, which could be enough to reel in 2014’s fourth overall pick.
“But that is the thing, with contracts they brought in, they can do this kind of deal now,” the front-office executive added. “They could not before. Porzingis is kind of a controversial player, is he ever healthy? But that might be a risk worth taking for them.”
Staying healthy has been a constant hurdle for Porzingis, who hasn’t played in more than 43 games in one season since 2019-20, per Basketball-Reference.com. He’s averaging 19.2 points 7.7 rebounds while making 28.3% of his 3-pointers, which is a significant dip compared to shooting at a 35.3% clip throughout his career.
Kristaps, who’s yet to make his Wizards debut, hasn’t played since January 29. He’s recovering from a bone bruise in his right knee.