This offseason, the Boston Celtics could prove to be the most buzzed-about team in the entire league.
Already off to a noteworthy start to the summer, for less than 24 hours after their season came to an end Danny Ainge stepped down from his front office duties and, in his place as President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens took over, the Cs have the full attention of virtually everyone in the media and, frankly, anyone who’s just interested in the NBA.
After such a disappointment that was the 2020-21 campaign, it’s in Boston’s best interest to shake things up a bit this offseason and, already, we’ve seen their name intertwined with some of the biggest storylines.
Of course, the hot topic of discussion is trying to figure out what Damian Lillard‘s future holds after yet another grueling first-round defeat. Though there have been no indications made that he even wants out of Portland, many are already trying to concoct hypothetical deals that would land the superstar guard in a new zip code.
Though to some, the idea of Lillard landing in Boston may seem a bit far-fetched, there are many who are under the impression that they are in ‘a good position’ to actually strike a deal.
Naturally, one would expect that any package that the shamrocks throw the Trail Blazers’ way would need to be rather steep — after all, we’re talking about arguably the best point guard in the league who just averaged 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.2 rebounds on 45 percent shooting from the floor and 39 percent shooting from deep.
Both from a talent and a salary standpoint, any realistic offer for Lillard would have to start with Jaylen Brown for Boston. Whether or not the Celtics would even be willing to put the 24-year-old Brown on the table for a 30-year-old Lillard who is owed nearly $200 million over the next for years is not an easy question for Brad Stevens to answer. Lillard has been a top-15 player in the NBA for the past two seasons but his huge salary and age would probably give at least some of the organization some pause, particularly with the team’s history of having high-scoring veteran point guards break down with injuries on the team’s watch in the past five years.
For the sake of this exercise though, let’s say the Celtics are willing to consider a Brown deal. Lillard may be deemed as the better fit next to Tatum from an offensive standpoint and has a long enough window of his prime remaining to help the Celtics make some noise in the Eastern Conference with an improved supporting cast around that duo.
As Robb stated, the concept of the Boston Celtics giving up Brown (24) for Lillard (30) can certainly be viewed as a risk, especially with their bad luck with acquiring veteran point guards over the last several years.
That said, pairing arguably the best point guard with arguably the best budding superstar in the league may be worth the risk, for the rewards could ultimately lead them closer to raising banner No. 18.
Either way, though a hefty ask, MassLive is unfortunately correct — any talks involving Damian Lillard heading to Beantown will likely have to start with Jaylen Brown.