The Boston Celtics may be viewed by the masses as arguably the most well-rounded team in the NBA, but even they could still use some fine-tuning in a few separate areas within their ranks.
Long have the C’s been looking to bolster their talent pool out on the wing behind the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and, now in 2022-23, the club still finds itself desiring extra heads in this part of the rotation.
Now, while there are many possible ways in which Brad Stevens and company could look to finally go about addressing this desire, in a recent sit-down with Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney, an anonymous Eastern Conference executive suggested one trade that would bring a long-linked option to the Celtics.
Boston Celtics receive:
- Justin Holiday
Atlanta Hawks receive:
- Future first-round pick
Considering the fact that the Celtics still hold the rights to several TPEs (traded player exceptions), Holiday’s $6.2 million salary could fit seamlessly into Juan Hernangómez’s $6.9 million exception.
As for his play style, that too would be a simple fit within Joe Mazzulla’s lineup, as he’s a quality two-way asset who can provide some consistent floor spacing (holds a 37.2% long-range conversion percentage since 2018) and energy on the less glamorous side of the ball.
While he may not be receiving much playing time with the Atlanta Hawks this season (averaging just 16.0 minutes a game) the 33-year-old has still proven to be quite effective with his limited action, posting averages of 14.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 blocks per 100 possessions whilst converting on 35.0% of his shots from deep.
A guy like Justin Holiday may not be the biggest name that could be seen traded this season, though, as far as who the Celtics could wind up adding before February’s deadline, the general manager believes that the 10-year veteran could prove to be a “best-case scenario” add.
Celtics Could Also Target a Big
During the conversation with Deveney, the executive noted that the Boston Celtics could also look to add more big-man help with one of their exceptions, though admitted that piecing together a worthwhile package could prove to be a bit challenging.
“They will look at big guys, too, but it will be tough for them to upgrade there without giving up a player or two, like a Derrick White and they have not shown any sign of wanting to do that. There are not a lot of big guys who are going to be available and who fit into that TPE window,” the exec told Deveney.
The executive would continue by mentioning recent second-round selection by the Charlotte Hornets, Nick Richards as being a possible target for the C’s, as he finds himself earning a mere $1.4 million in 2022-23 and could be easily absorbed into several of the club’s lower-value TPE’s.
After spending his first two seasons in the association rotating in and out of the G League, Richards finds himself serving as a regular in head coach Steve Clifford’s rotation and, as a result, is posting career-best averages all across the board.
In 18.8 minutes a night, the 25-year-old finds himself putting up 9.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, and just shy of a block per game on 61.5% shooting from the floor.
Considering Robert Williams’ oft-questionable health, coupled with the constant chatter amongst the media that they should strongly consider looking into acquiring reinforcements behind the franchise big, it may be a low-risk, sound reward idea to look to trade for the 7-footer.
Celtics Star Sounds Off on History Books
Following the team’s Christmas Day victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Celtics star Jayson Tatum fawned over the franchise’s storied past when asked during a post-game media session if he ever thinks about the legacy he’s made for himself since being in Boston.
“It’s hard to think in the moment, at 24, that I have a place in Celtics history. But, it’s definitely an honor. I’ve said that many a times how much I love being here and what it means to play on Christmas. You know, the sixth year in a row, and it’s something I never want to take for granted,” Tatum said.
Tatum has been magnificent for the Celtics all season long, currently ranking as a resounding favorite to take home the league’s MVP award come year’s end, and continued his high-end production on Christmas day with a 41-point performance that went along with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and, ultimately, a stupendous win in front of a packed TD Garden crowd.