The Boston Celtics may prove tonight they don’t have enough to get over the hump in the Eastern Conference. Can Myles Turner help get them there?
Game 5 tonight between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat can make a lot of things clear…especially if the Cs lose in a gentlemen’s sweep.
For starters, it would prove that the Heat are a team on a mission. If you would have told me in the preseason that Miami will have swept the Indiana Pacers and then whooped the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in consecutive five-game series in the Lake Buena Vista bubble on Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports campus, well, I would have questioned what in the world a bubble was.
I also would have not believed you for a second.
The second thing this would prove pretty definitively is that the Cs just don’t have enough to contend. Without much cap flexibility for the next half-decade and an unbalanced roster top-heavy on wing talent, Boston may need to take to the trade market to make a splash.
Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey listed a perfect trade target for every team in a piece published this morning, and he believes the Celtics should make a frontcourt splash in the form of a Myles Turner trade:
You have to get nitpicky to find weaknesses for the Boston Celtics, a team that finished the season in the top four on both offense and defense.
The eye test takes you to their lack of size. Their starting center, Daniel Theis, stands just 6’8″, but the team was still top-10 in both the frequency and efficiency of shots allowed at the rim. Still, it isn’t difficult to imagine modest jumps into the top five for each category with a bona fide rim protector in the middle of all those positionless wings.
If Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward were funneling perimeter drivers toward Myles Turner, Boston’s defense could be even more daunting. Turner’s ability to pull bigs out of the paint on the other end would also open up driving lanes for those scorers.
The problem, of course, is what it would take to get Turner. Marcus Smart’s deal is plenty tradable, but he’s been the emotional fulcrum of the team for years. Hayward is another possibility, but then salary matching becomes a bit trickier, and one of Boston’s biggest strengths is its ability to play largely positionless basketball.
Bailey does a good job of listing the pros and cons of such a move, but quite frnakly a deal for Turner only makes sense in the following scenarios:
-Turner is part of a Gordon Hayward trade return that also includes T.J. Warren and/or Doug McDermott
-Boston signs all of their incoming draft picks to contracts before packaging them with, say Daniel Theis, to land Turner late in the offseason
If Boston can land Turner and keep Hayward/the rest of their core, that is a deal you make 100 times out of 100. Turner is an ideal fit for the roster as currently constructed, so if Ainge can keep the roster constructed as such, the 2020-21 Boston Celtics are going to be a huge problem for the rest of the league.