For as long as Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge holds onto the team’s Traded Player Exception acquired from the Gordon Hayward deal with the Charlotte Hornets expect to hear the likeliest and not-so-likely trade proposals.
As for one of the latest, one from Greg Patuto of NBAanalysis.com that includes Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic heading to Boston in exchange for Celtics’ Daniel Theis, Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, and draft picks – file it under “not-so-likely” and glue it to the front of the pile because it’s its best example.
Here’s the full extent of the proposal:
Orlando Magic Receive: Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, Daniel Theis, 2021 1st Round Pick, 2021 2nd Round Pick (via OKC)
Boston Celtics Receive: Nikola Vucevic, per NBAanalysis.com.
Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic To Celtics For Daniel Theis, Carsen Edwards, and Romeo Langford?
Nikola’s been a mainstay in Orlando, a double-double machine for the Magic (21.7 points, 11 rebounds), and has been doing it for the past three seasons.
It’s the biggest reason why Orlando signed him to a four-year, $100 million contract in 2019. With at least two guaranteed years left on his deal after 2021, he’s an ideal candidate for the Celtics – a team potentially in the market for an upgrade at its center position.
But don’t kid yourself into thinking Boston’s proposed offer in this scenario would excite any diehard Magic fans. Ainge’s precious TPE has hypnotized some into forgetting that while matching salaries – which the TPE helps greatly in absorbing over $20 million in a proposed deal – is critical when it comes to trading players in the NBA, so is equal, or less than equal, talent and valuable assets.
If a team decides it’s best for them to dismantle its core between now and the trade deadline, they won’t be inclined to simply hand over its best players just to match salaries and take the best offer the Celtics can make outside their best players in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart.
That’s just not how it works. It’s not how any of this works.
Nikola Vucevic’s Trade Value
In this case of swapping one team’s top-tier player for another team’s top-tier talent; Vucevic fits the bill. He’s a franchise cornerstone.
If Orlando ultimately decides to part ways with its star; it’s going to take more than a trade centered on Theis and two young unproven end-of-the-bench guys. Another important part that goes into a franchise deciding which move – one that should equate short-term or long-term success – is best for them is getting the absolute-best return for its star.
Unless one of the Celtics’ core players of Tatum, Brown, or Smart is included in a proposed deal, a team like the Magic – one that hasn’t seen the second round of the playoffs since 2010 – won’t be interested. But don’t worry, there will be others; many others down the road.