It was clear from the moment he took the job that Boston Celtics president Brad Stevens would be tested in his first offseason as the team’s key decision-maker. And, so far, it looks as though he is equal to the task.
Just one month after being announced as Danny Ainge’s successor, Stevens has already swapped Kemba Walker for Al Horford and hired a new head coach in Ime Udoka. However, if he’s looking to ensure a major improvement over the team’s .500 record and first-round exit in 2020-21, additional moves may be required.
Cleaning up the team’s cap situation would go a long way toward giving Stevens the flexibility to make bigger changes. The Walker deal helped in this regard, shaving a combined $20 million off of the team’s books over the next two years. Getting players back that can actually help in Horford and Moses Brown was the icing on the cake.
Still, it’s possible that Stevens could make other deals that may not yield immediate cap savings, but would diversify the Celtics’ roster. To that end, one major outlet has floated a potential trade that would do just that.
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B/R: Celtics Should Send Tristan Thompson Home
On Friday, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale did a big feature on offseason moves, positing a hypothetical trade for every team in the Association. This is what the hoops scribe came up with for Stevens and the Celtics:
Boston Celtics receive Taurean Prince from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- The Cavs get Tristan Thompson, Carsen Edwards and the Celtics’ 2021 second-round pick (No. 45 overall).
Favale gave the following rationale for the deal on the Celtics side of the equation:
“Taurean Prince’s $13 million salary won’t make team president Brad Stevens feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but he comes off the books next summer, and the Celtics need true wings beyond Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.”
He also noted that it would clean up one of Ainge’s mistakes and establish the team’s rotation at center:
“Boston messed up burning its MLE on Tristan Thompson last year. This remedies that move and lets head coach Ime Udoka build the 5 carousel around Horford, Moses Brown and Robert Williams III.”
Meanwhile, the Cavs could buy out Thompson, save some long-term scratch and get a prospect back in Edwards.
Taurean Prince at a Glance
Over the last two seasons with the Cavs and Brooklyn Nets, Prince has seen his numbers decrease substantially. However, he is still in his prime at 27 years old. Moreover, at 6-foot-7 (with a wingspan approaching seven feet) and about 220 pounds, he’s the kind big, long wing the Cs could use in their rotation.
His ability to play at the four as needed and guard three positions on defense would be a boon for Boston. So, too, would his three-point shooting. Although his efficacy from deep has dipped in recent years, he’s still a career 37% long-range shooter on nearly five attempts per contest.
In his five seasons and 301 games played (210 of which were starts), Prince has averaged 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.9 steals in 25.8 minutes per contest. His best year came in 2017-18 as a second-year pro with the Atlanta Hawks.
That season, he logged a 14-5-3-1 line and knocked down 176 triples with a 38.5% conversion rate.
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