The Boston Celtics sit at 11-9 on the season, placed fourth in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and have gone just 2-3 over their last five games. While the Cs are headed by arguably the league’s most dynamic duo in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the team has also been somewhat derailed with injuries and an inconsistent rotation.
With the March 25 trade deadline approaching, Celtics president of basketball operations, Danny Ainge, may feel pressed to swing a deal to better help shore up his roster.
During his weekly interview with “Toucher & Rich” on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Ainge went into detail discussing what he believes the Celtics’ top need is currently.
“I would say maybe shooting with size,” Ainge replied.
“There are a lot of different ways that you can win in this league,” he added, “but I would say that shooting, we could use shooting, we could use passing, but you always need defense. Our team is built on defense. We’ve been winning with defense over the last few years. I know we haven’t won a championship, but we need defense. It’s hard to just find a shooter that can’t guard anybody, and expect that person to just come in and make a major change on our team.”
When Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway caught wind of Ainge’s desires he quickly zeroed in on the perfect trade candidate for Boston. Although he couldn’t help but toss a bit of shade the Celtics way in the midst.
Conway followed up his take with this response to a fan who questioned what a Celtics-Pacers trade may look like:
“lol they offered him [Turner] this offseason in a S&T (sign and trade) for Hayward and the Celtics said no.”
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Are Celtics Regretting Not Pulling the Trigger on Myles Turner?
The trade package in question dates back to November, in which the Pacers reportedly offered both Turner and forward Doug McDermott in exchange for Gordon Hayward, who was eager to return to his hometown of Indiana. Yet, by most accounts, Boston was caught being a tad bit greedy and the deal ultimately fell through.
According to The Boston Globes Gary Washburn, Boston would take on Turner only if they could also receiver either T.J. Warren or Victor Oladipo in the trade as well. Days later, Hayward broke away from the potential deal, inking a four-year, $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets.
The rest is history.
Myles Turner a Favorite to Win Defensive Player of the Year
While the Celtics did receive the biggest trade exception in league history for Hayward jettisoning Boston ($28.5 million), they failed to shore up their front-court with one of the league’s tantalizing big-men.
The Celtics are currently making do with a rotation of Daniel Theis, Tristan Thompson and Rob Williams up front. As for Turner, he’s transformed himself from a talented rim protector with floor stretching traits on the offensive end to a front-runner to claim the Defensive Player of the Year award.
“When I come out there, defensively, I make a huge difference. I change games,” Turner stated in a discussion with Eric Woodward of ESPN, later adding “I have an opportunity to do something special this year individually — Becoming Defensive Player of the Year.”
Even Bobby Portis, the teammate of last year’s recipient, Giannis Antetokounmpo, can’t deny that Turner has a great chance of bringing the DPOY hardware to Indiana by season’s end.
“I don’t know how the voting goes with all the awards and all that, but I’m pretty sure he’s up there in the ranks,” the Bucks forward said of Turner, via ESPN. “I don’t know too many guys that’s averaging four blocks … he’s having a helluva year right now.”
The Athletic’s Eric Wong seems to agree with Portis’ line of thinking, pegging Turner as the “smart pick” to capture the award in his recent NBA futures bets column.
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