Magic Johnson Makes Bold Claim About Celtics

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

Getty Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson thinks very highly of the 2023-24 Boston Celtics. On his X account, Johnson tweeted what differentiates the Celtics from the other teams in the Eastern Conference.

“Outside of the Boston Celtics, multiple teams in the East need to make a trade before the deadline, including the Bucks, 76ers, Knicks, Cavaliers, and the Hawks.”

Boston currently sports the best record in the NBA, which places them first among Eastern Conference teams. They are currently 3.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the first seed. Per Tankathon, they have the second-easiest schedule remaining, behind only the Orlando Magic.

Even if the Celtics look for a trade, they have very limited trade options. They have a $6.2 million Grant Williams trade exception, and they likely won’t trade any of their top six players. At the same time, given their comfortable lead, they aren’t in dire need of another player.

Bill Simmons Believes Boston Needs ‘Bench Guard With Size’

After the Miami Heat acquired Terry Rozier from the Charlotte Hornets, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons voiced his caution as a Celtics fan on his X account.

“Any (Simmons) Pod listener knows I’ve been terrified of Miami the most this whole time — not Philly, not Milwaukee, just Miami. They were always (Emilio) Barzini this year with the Lowry expiring plus picks. Rozier is an absolute home run for them. Celts still need a bench guard (with) size FYI.”

For reference, Emilio Barzini is the main antagonist in the 1972 film The Godfather, considered one of the best films of all time.

Rozier is putting up some career-highs this season, averaging 23.2 points per game on 45.9% shooting from the field, per Basketball-Reference. At 29 years old, Rozier is also younger than Lowry at 37 and cheaper on top of that, even if he has two years left on his contract.

The Heat have faced the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four postseasons. Miami won two of those series and went to seven in the one that they lost. They have consistently proven to be a threat to the Celtics since Jimmy Butler signed there in 2019. Adding Rozier could prove to be problematic for Boston.

Celtics Can’t Use Trade Exception Past Trade Deadline

During the 2023 offseason, the Celtics signed and traded Grant Williams to the Dallas Mavericks. That trade created a $6.2 million trade exception. However, the Celtics won’t be able to use the trade exception past the trade deadline.

Former NBA executive Bobby Marks explained why the Celtics will no longer possess the TPE when the 2024 offseason begins.

“That trade exception will go away once we get past the deadline,” Marks said while previewing the Celtics’ trade guide. “Once the deadline passes and we get into the offseason, teams that are over the apron, that trade exception no longer becomes available to that team.”

If Boston wants to make a trade with the TPE, they have a limited window to do so. The Celtics have yet to show that they have a glaring hole on their roster. However, Brad Stevens has utilized multiple trade exceptions since becoming President of Basketball Operations in 2021. Despite not having much to work with, he could do it again.

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