It is only natural for the most decorated franchise in the history of the league to be linked with a surfeit of NBA Trade Rumors but the Boston Celtics need to make a decision on whether they really need to make a lot of noise this off-season given how good the current team has gelled.
Under the tutelage of coach Brad Stevens, the Boston Celtics have developed two genuine young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Along with Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart, the Boston Celtics are one of the strongest teams in the NBA today.
The Boston Celtics have been a part of many NBA Trade Rumors that have linked them with a big name at the center position, including Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid. However, the rotation at center involving Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter and Robert Williams has worked fine for the Boston Celtics this season and gives them a balance that they would hate to lose.
So what should they prioritise this off-season?
NBA Trade Rumors: Stretch big like Myles Turner is what Boston Celtics need
Gordon Hayward had a very decent season with the Boston Celtics, where he averaged 17.5 points per game on 50% shooting, along with nearly 7 rebounds and over 4 assists. In reality, those numbers are elite when you consider the fact that the 6'7" forward was the fourth scoring option on the roster behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker.
With that being said, they will be paying Hayward over $34 million for the 2020-21 season. As good as he is, Hayward has failed to match the production from his Utah Jazz days. With two young stars in Tatum and Brown, it is unlikely that Gordon Hayward will ever get to even attempt as many shots as he did when he was an All-Star with the Utah Jazz. As a result, it might be wise to cash in on the large contract attached with Hayward, if possible.
One destination which could suit Hayward is Indiana, where there is a lack of an elite scoring option. TJ Warren has sometimes heated up and put up big numbers, but there is still no reliability in his scoring yet. He could very well go for 40 one night and then slump back to 10 points in the next game. Gordon Hayward could really explode into a scoring machine like he was in his Jazz days with the Pacers as he will be seeing a lot of the ball.
The one player the Boston Celtics should demand in this trade more than anyone is stretch big Myles Turner.
Career points per game - 12.7
Career assists per game - 1.2
Career rebounds per game - 6.7
Career blocks per game - 2.1
Career field goal % - 48.8%
Career 3pt % - 35.7%
Myles Turner is one of the best rim protectors in the league right now. He finished fourth in the league in blocks per game in the regular season with 2.1, and first in the post-season so far with 4. Turner is also a very competent shooter from outside. He shot 38.8% from three in 2.6 attempts per game last season. Although that number has now dropped to 34.4%, he's taking a lot more shots now.
None of the Boston Celtics' three centers can stretch the floor and while it hasn't proven to be a problem so far, they'd certainly be better off with a big man who can chuck threes. It opens up the floor much better for Tatum and Brown to work the offense like they wish to. It also gives them a defensive boost as Turner is better at protecting the paint than someone like Theis.
This trade also works out for the Indiana Pacers because it is a popular belief that Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner cannot operate together without both players' productivity taking a considerable hit. Clearly, Sabonis is the face of the franchise and will be for years to come. So, the Pacers will be more than happy to let Turner walk if they can get good value for him. Gordon Hayward provides just that.
NBA Trade Rumors: What can a Myles Turner to Boston Celtics deal look like?
To finance this deal, the Indiana Pacers will likely need to include TJ Warren in the trade to balance the salaries. Warren will be a big miss for the Pacers because he has often been their main driving force in offense. So, the Boston Celtics might need to include a first round to make it worth the Pacers' interest. With Jeremy Lamb returning to their line-up next season, the absence of Warren's scoring should be made up for.
With this deal, the Boston Celtics would reach a different level and could push for absolute dominance in the East. The Indiana Pacers would solve their Sabonis-Turner issue and get the maximum value they could possibly get for their present center, whilst also getting their first scoring option who would be fed well by Malcolm Brogdon and Sabonis himself, too.
Published 09 Sep 2020, 17:00 IST