The bulk of offseason transactions are likely already in the rearview, and the Boston Celtics certainly capitalized on the many opportunities presented to them.
From the initial trade that managed to swap out Kemba Walker in exchange for Al Horford back in June to the most recent steal of a free agency signing in Dennis Schroder, new President of Basketball Operations, Brad Stevens, has had his hands involved in many different projects throughout the summer.
Now, entering September and inching closer to the 2021-22 campaign, many fans are left waiting to see what’s to come of this new-look shamrocks squad.
For some, they believe this roster as currently constructed should remain intact moving forward while others are under the impression that, though the Cs have improved since last season, more moves still must be made, be it in the form of simple free agent signings or via a more complicated route involving trades for potentially disgruntled stars.
Though we tend to believe that Stevens and co. should strongly consider holding off on any more major shakeups — unless, of course, a steal of an offer comes their way –, this latter option of being a part of trades involving unhappy stars could be an interesting option to consider, and one player that fits this mold who’s status Boston should monitor closely is Ben Simmons.
Reportedly on the outs with the Philadelphia 76ers, the expectation is that the franchise will actively be looking to trade the 3x All-Star at some point this season and, in the Houdini’s opinion, the Boston Celtics should be interested in being involved in such talks.
Now look, we’re not going to sit here and say that the Cs should, or even could put together a trade package to land the point guard — in all honesty, based on their current roster makeup and salary situation they likely wouldn’t be able to get a deal done anyway.
However, being involved in trade talks doesn’t necessarily mean that the Cs would be the ones bringing on Simmons, for the beautiful thing about this league is that multi-team deals are a common practice, especially when it comes to major money being swapped around.
Because of this, we believe that the Boston Celtics should be highly interested in serving as a third-team in talks revolving around the estranged star, and this trade package we’ve come up with could prove to be beneficial for each party involved:
One of the bigger bits of news pertaining to this whole Ben Simmons situation came out just a few days ago, as it was rumored that the fifth-year veteran was eyeing California as his desired landing spot.
Being that both the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers are seemingly set with their core roster, the likelihood of the 25-year-old heading to La La Land seems a bit low, which leaves just one option to fill his west coast request — the Sacramento Kings.
Now, though recent reports stated that the franchise wishes to bow out of the Simmons-sweepstakes, this is largely due to Philly’s over-inflated asking price. Eventually, many expect that price to drop considerably — meaning they’d accept an offer not involving De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton and, instead, settle for major draft capital — and, when it does, this offer could be a realistic one they could consider.
In the trade above, we see Simmons heading to Sac-Town, with Buddy Hield and a bevy of future draft capital heading back to Philadelphia as the main granbs for the franchise, but there’s still roughly $10 million that must be matched to make the numbers work.
This is where the Boston Celtics come in to play.
First, we see the Kings clear up a bit more salary space as they send out their ninth overall pick from this year’s draft in Davion Mitchell to the 76ers and, to top it off, they offload the underperforming former lottery selection, Marvin Bagley, and ship him out to the Cs.
Frankly, for all teams involved, this move could wind up being rather beneficial.
For the Sixers, they move on from a man that played a large part in their playoff demise last season and who has had reported rifts with fellow franchise centerpiece, Joel Embiid.
In turn, they receive a major upgrade in the floor spacing and scoring department by adding on Heild (a career 40 percent shooter from deep) as well as a young and promising two-way point guard prospect in Mitchell who, in his final season at Baylor, posted per-game averages of 14 points, 5.5 assists, 2.7 boards, and 1.9 steals per game all while winning the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award as well as an NCAA title.
Sacramento, meanwhile, parts ways with a player in Hield, whom they’ve been seemingly trying to trade for some time now, and, in turn, swap him out for a perennial All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year candidate who could come in and be placed seamlessly into their lineup as a high-end playmaking power forward/ small-ball center.
Despite the fact that his reputation has been somewhat damaged over the past few months, by no means should people believe Simmons is anywhere close to “washed.” Aside from him, the only player currently in the league who boasts averages of at least 15 points, 7.5 assists, and 7.5 boards is rising superstar for the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic.
Now, as for the Boston Celtics, they cough up a future first-round pick (top-12 protected), but land the former second overall selection from the 2018 NBA Draft in Bagley who, seemingly since his second season in the league has been at the center of trade rumors.
Though he hasn’t necessarily lived up to the lofty expectations that come with being the No. 2 overall pick, through three seasons played the big man has proven to be a solid player who can buy a bucket in the post/ in the mid-range with ease and, last season, showed off some improved floor spacing abilities as well.
On the year, Bagley found himself averaging 14.1 points and 7.4 boards on 50 percent shooting from the floor and 34 percent shooting from deep.
At 6-11, 240-pounds Marvin Bagley has the build to be an intimidating presence in the frontcourt while his offensive abilities show promise of him one day becoming quite an efficient three-level scorer.
Considering the fact that the Boston Celtics could certainly use for some bolstering at the power forward position and that they currently have a recently acquired $17 million TPE at their disposal, taking a chance on Bagley and his $11 million salary could be a high reward risk worth taking.