The Boston Celtics Should Not Make a Trade

Jan 6, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens directs his team on the court during the first half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens directs his team on the court during the first half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Celtics have arguably the most trade assets to offer a team, before the February 18th trade deadline, to pull of a blockbuster deal. They’re one of the deepest teams in the NBA and are very young at the same time, offering great quality and youth. They also have the Brooklyn Nets‘ 2016 unprotected first round pick, most likely a top-five selection. With all that said, should the Celtics actually pull the trigger on a deal? Now, it obviously matters who they’re trading for and who they’re trading away to fully assess this question, however, without knowing that information I think Boston should stay put.

Right now, Boston has one of the best young cores in the NBA. They have shown great potential this season as Boston is sixth in the Eastern Conference at 27-22. They are half a game behind the three seed in the East though, making it even more tempting to try to add a star this season.

Isaiah Thomas has been one of the most surprising players this season. Thomas was also voted to the All-Star team this season, his first career selection. He has also averaged more points per game (21.5 PPG) than Carmelo Anthony this season. Boston has two other good, young guards that play alongside Thomas. Avery Bradley is turning into one of the most effective 3-and-D players in the NBA (shooting 35.5 percent from behind the arc). He also has a very good contract, for the Celtics, for at least more season. Although, they will probably restructure his deal after next season. Smart’s numbers don’t jump off the page but recently his shooting has been better, especially from behind the arc, and he always plays great defense; he didn’t get invited to the Rising Stars Challenge for nothing.

Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /

The frontcourt is the same story for Boston. Jae Crowder is arguably the most valuable player for the Celtics due to his ability to play effectively on both sides of the court every night, yet seems to be involved in every trade rumor surrounding Boston. Kelly Olynyk has become one of the best three-point shooting big men in the league (43.0 percent) and as a result lets Boston spread the floor out even more when he comes off the bench. Jared Sullinger has been up and down this season but still leads the team with 8.7 rebounds per game.

Even with all that potential, and reasonable contracts, the Celtics are still involved in every trade rumor it seems like. I get that they have a lot to offer, I mean look at that team! But why would they?

Most trade rumors have some combination of Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, David Lee (okay, trade him for whatever you can get) and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected pick. I don’t see the point of trading your most valuable player, an up and coming guard with a favorable contract, someone who keeps developing on both sides of the ball or a future star.

Here are a couple of players they have been linked to:

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Rudy Gay is a killer for any team he plays for. He is a one-on-one player and stops ball movement when put in, the opposite of what Brad Stevens is trying to build in Boston. Giving up your future core for a $12 million dollar player who can score, but in an ineffective way for the team, and that’s it, doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. There’s no doubting his ability to score, but there is also no doubting his ability to ruin a team’s offensive flow either. And besides, is he really considered a star? To me he’s not.

Crowder may never reach Gay’s ability on offense, however, he is averaging 14.3 points per game this season and has been rapidly improving since being drafted. He could easily become a 17 point a night player, not to mention he’s already on a different level, defensively, than Gay.

Al Horford is someone who could fit the Celtics very well. He can spread the floor out, can go inside and isn’t terrible on defense. Although, his injury history is a concern and he isn’t the same player he was a couple of seasons ago. Horford is still a very capable big man, but so is everyone you have on your roster. He wouldn’t be much of an upgrade, if at all.

Kevin Love was once the most dominant big man in the league, but his game has changed so much since joining the Cleveland Cavaliers. He stands around the three-point line, like a true stretch four, and doesn’t rebound at the same rate he once did. He’s only 27 years old, which is a huge plus, but he’s not someone you can build your team around and win a championship, that’s why Minnesota traded him for Andrew Wiggins. He is also only shooting 37.1 percent from behind the arc, a lot worse than Kelly Olynyk. He doesn’t bring enough on defense either to fit the Boston gameplan, so why would they give up their future for him? Love is a great supporting member, but shouldn’t be the top option on your team.

Blake Griffin seems like an interesting fit for Boston, yet the trade proposal is terrible. A lot of reports are saying that the Celtics would have to deal Crowder, Bradley and the Nets’ unprotected pick for Griffin, not something I would be jumping for joy with. Griffin’s character is in question now after his recent debacle and you’d be trading away a good chunk of your future plans for one player, who is pretty one-dimensional. Griffin is one of the best finishers in the league, but that’s about it. How bad is he at shooting?

0-3 feet away 74.1 percent

3-10 feet away 48.8 percent

10-16 feet away 35.9 percent

Boston is a good enough shooting team to make up for this, and they would mostly ask him to play inside. An inside presence on offense may be what Boston is missing. However, Boston would be giving up way too much for someone who doesn’t contribute much on defense and is pretty close to a liability from more than a couple of feet away.

Eric Gordon and Markieff Morris… Really?

Ryan Anderson… You really think he’s the solution?

The Boston Celtics are really close to competing for a championship once again. They have a reasonable chance to be the three seed this season, something no one saw coming. They also have an All-Star now, Isaiah Thomas, and are as well-rounded as any team.

There is no question that before they can make the next step they need a star. I don’t consider anyone that I previously mentioned a star; except for Blake Griffin and Kevin Love is borderline. The only trade I would consider is one for DeMarcus Cousins. Although, I once again wouldn’t give up my entire young core for him.

Next: I was wrong about Kelly Olynyk

It’s important to get a star but I would try to find it through free agency or the draft. There is a good chance that Boston will have three straight top-five picks (Thanks, Brooklyn!) so there’s no reason to panic now. Danny Ainge is known for striking big deals, so there’s no way to know what will happen. However, trading away a good chunk of your core for a “star” may push this team back a couple of steps, not forward. There’s a reason why this team is considered so favorable to trade with, it’s because of their potential. I wouldn’t ruin that aspect of the team right now because even if you get a star this team isn’t ready to win a championship, yet.