The Celtics were one of the 4 teams that missed out on Kevin Durant during the offseason which caused their offseason plans to come to a halt for now. They did have their biggest signing in franchise history by snagging Al Horford, but now Boston must look elsewhere for more help in order to contend in the East. The big question is what is their plan B? Who will they trade for? Will they even make a trade? Let’s have a look at all of their possible trade targets and possible free agent signings
Option 1: Trade for DeMarcus Cousins
While adding Al Horford certainly gave the Celtics a much-needed big man, I believe there is room for one more big man down low. Since Al Horford likes to stretch the floor and since he is starting to develop a three point shot, trading for DeMarcus Cousins will help fill a void on the Celtics roster. Amir Johnson was the only true big man on the roster last year and by “true big man” I mean a guy who works down low, rebounds and doesn’t shoot threes. Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, and Jonas Jerebko all shot more than their desired amount of threes during the playoff series against the Hawks. Big men shooting threes in this league today is really a hit or miss and clearly, the Celtics big men missed. Hopefully, they hit with Horford. Cousins has shown that he can put up averages that make him the best center in the league. He bullies players down low, he can grab his fair share of offensive rebounds which the Celtics most desperately need, he can defend on the low block, and he is one of the better post up players in our league. Reuniting Isaiah Thomas with Cousins will benefit both players by giving Thomas a guy who he can pick and roll with and also just feed in the paint. The Celtics will more than likely have to give up their two first round picks but it will all be worth it in the long run.
Option 2: Trade for Jimmy Butler
One thing the Celtics lack is a guy who can score, rebound, and pass. While a lot of other teams lack that type of player as well, if the Celtics want to contend in the East, then they need an all around player. Look no further than Jimmy Butler, a guy who will give you consistency on a nightly basis. One guy on the Celtics who I can kind of compare Butler to is Jae Crowder but Crowder isn’t on that All-Star level of Butler yet. 20 PPG with 5 RPG and 4 APG are good enough numbers to help a Celtics team with two All-Stars, throw in the fact that Butler is just coming into his prime and you got yourself a championship team in the making. Jimmy Butler is also a very good defender for a forward which is another thing the Celtics need improvement on. Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley are studs when it comes to defending but those are guards. Their best forward defender is Jae Crowder but if you add Butler to the mix, then you can have one genuine defensive lineup that can give teams nightmares. The Celtics would have to sacrifice both of their first rounders to get Butler but maybe they could swing just one pick as much of a longshot as that sounds.
Option 3: Make no trades and let the season play out
There really aren’t any good free agents left that the Celtics can make an offer to. Missing out on Kevin Durant was a huge blow to the Celtics because all they can really do now is trade and even then teams may not be willing to trade their stars away. On the bright side, they drafted a player who is “willing to go to war for the city” in Jaylen Brown (who also had an impressive Summer League debut). Brown can give them that much needed spark that the Celtics desire and could be in the running for Rookie of the Year. Owner Wyc Grousbeck said that Brown is “our guy, we have been watching him for a while and are excited to see how he can help the Celtics”. Boston clearly has faith in Brown and will look to him to contribute to the scoring load once the season gets underway. Of course, the Celtics still have their All-Star Isaiah Thomas and as long as they keep him, they will always be a playoff team in the east. Now that they gave Thomas another All-Star in Al Horford, he has a new scoring threat and will look to make the All-Star game once again, but this time with Horford by his side. By the time the playoffs roll around, I expect Boston to at least be a top 5 seed in the East.
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