The Boston Celtics kicked off the 2021 NBA Offseason in quite a noteworthy fashion, what with the fact that less than 24-hours after their campaign came to an end Danny Ainge stepped down from his front office duties and, in his place as President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens dropped the clipboard on the sidelines and moved on up as his successor.
Now, a week removed from these shakeups, things within the organization have remained rather dormant. That said, rumors and rumblings pertaining to what the Cs could do as we embark further on into the summer have seemingly been circulating non-stop.
While filling their coaching vacancy could be argued as being their top priority this offseason, the media has seemingly focused the bulk of their attention on potential deals Boston’s new-look front office could pursue.
After such a disappointing season — one where they registered just a .500 record of 36-36 and were trounced in round one of the postseason — it’s evident that the Boston Celtics need to make some big changes if they wish to thrust themselves back into the title-contenders conversation.
With the state of their over-inflated salary situation, it’s hard to imagine the franchise making such moves via free agency, for all they’ll likely have at their disposal is the MLE and vet minimums.
Instead, should they wish to make any splashy talent additions between now and the tip-off to the 2021-22 season, the trade market is where the front office will need to focus the majority of their attention, and this offseason could see some top-tier names becoming available.
While there are no reports that the man even wants out of his situation, it’s apparent that all eyes will be focused on the status of Portland Trail Blazers superstar point guard, Damian Lillard, who just saw himself playing lights out during this year’s postseason (34.3 points, 10.2 assists on 45 percent shooting from deep) and, yet, was sent home in just six games, marking it the fourth time in the last five year’s he’s been ousted in round one.
With his well-documented desires to win, coupled with a cryptic Instagram post (account required) directly after their loss to the Denver Nuggets, rumors have begun to surface suggesting that it could be only a matter of time before the All-NBA guard requests out of Oregon.
Now, again, while Lillard has not made any hints suggesting he wants to be traded, should this happen, many are under the impression that the Boston Celtics would be one of the many teams interested in acquiring his services and, to some, they are viewed as having one of the best odds of striking a deal.
While many — unfortunately, this includes us — believe that talks between the Cs and Blazers surrounding the perennial All-Star would have to start with the idea of trading away stud wing, Jaylen Brown, some are under the impression that a deal could be done without including the 24-year-old.
Just recently, in fact, Bleacher Report concocted a trade package that would land Damian Lillard without shipping out the first-time All-Star. The proposed package reads as follows:
Citing the fact that partnering Lillard with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Brown, and Marcus Smart would thrust the Boston Celtics back into the upper-echelon of contenders in the Eastern Conference, writer Greg Swartz believes parting ways with fallen star, Kemba Walker, a few youngsters, and a sizeable amount of first-round picks is well worth it for the franchise:
Putting Lillard together with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson and company puts Boston back towards the top of the East, with a squad that can suddenly go toe-to-toe with the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Lillard and [Tatum] have already proven their abilities to deliver in the playoffs, with the two combining to average 64.9 points per game in the first round this season.
Now, like we’ve stated numerous times, no credible reports have been made suggesting that Damian Lillard even wants out of his situation with the Trail Blazers.
However, even if such rumblings did wind up surfacing, we at HH are under the impression that it’ll likely cost a whole lot more than just an injury-prone point guard, a few raw/ unproven youngsters, and a bevy of late first-round picks.
Nevertheless, crazier things have happened in this league, and, should this proposed deal ever wind up becoming a reality, Celtics fans would be over the moon with excitement about the potential that a Big-3 of Lillard, Tatum, and Brown could accomplish.