3 blockbusters that would make the Boston Celtics legitimate contenders

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10: Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers reacts in the fourth quarter during a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on January 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 10: Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Indiana Pacers reacts in the fourth quarter during a game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on January 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Trade No. 2) Boston Celtics get a rising star, Atlanta addresses backcourt

Next up, we see the Boston Celtics once again addressing both their power forward position and bench scoring unit with this reshaping a similar deal from a little while back written by yours truly only, unlike the one we concocted with the Kings, this trade with the Hawks has the makings to be a tremendous transaction both in the now as well as for the many years to come.

For quite some time now, John Collins has been viewed by us at HH as being a player that should be atop the C’s wish list as far as trade targets go.

Still just 25-years-old, the power forward has plenty of upside still to be discovered, which is rather impressive considering the fact that he’s putting up an incredibly solid campaign in year five despite registering the second-lowest usage rating of his career (20.1), boasting averages of 16.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, two assists, and just over a block per game on 54 percent shooting from the floor and 39 percent shooting from deep.

Like Barnes, Collins would provide floor spacing within the frontcourt that, to this point, has been non-existent for the Celtics, while also giving them yet another solid rim protector to join forces with the dominating Robert Williams when on defense.

Unlike Barnes, however, the current Hawks stud would allow Udoka to continue running his desired double-big lineup (though, with Collins, it actually has the chance to be elite) while also giving Boston an otherworldly athletic specimen who could thrive in the pick-and-roll, in kick-outs towards the perimeter, and when flushing it home at the rim on fast breaks and off of lob passes.

Alongside him we also see the 29-year-old wing, Bogdan Bogdanovic, coming to Beantown who would then go on to serve as the team’s sixth-man to help boost their bench’s 29th ranked offense.

Despite having somewhat of a down campaign for the Hawks this year (12.6 points on 42 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent shooting from deep), through the three seasons leading into 2021-22 Bogdanovic had been on an absolute tear, averaging 15.1 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds on 44 percent shooting from the floor and 39 percent shooting from deep whilst predominantly coming off the pine.

Obviously, the hope would be that, in a new setting perhaps the fifth-year veteran would be able to tap back into his 2019 through 2021 self but, even if he produces at somewhere in the middle between than and this season, it’s still an upgrade for the C’s bench.

And, as for why this move would be beneficial for the Hawks, ultimately they’re looking to find a proverbial bandaid on the defensive side of the ball to stop the bleeding at the point of attack.

In other words, they need better on-ball defense within their backcourt.

Smart is still one of the elite on-ball defenders at the guard position, which would absolutely be a blessing alongside the defensive liability that is Trae Young.

On the offensive side of the ball, while he may not be much of a scorer (though he can easily put up double-digits if need be), he is a more than willing passer/ playmaker who would allow Young to preserve some energy and play off-ball more often to look to spot up from catch-and-shoot treys (converting on 47 percent of such attempts this season).

Along with Smart we also see 3-and-D specialist, Josh Richardson, coming along to continue boosting their perimeter play, Al Horford to serve as both a mentor for the second-year talent Onyeka Okongwu, and, simply, a rotational player who can fill in at either the four or the five for some quality minutes off the pine, Aaron Nesmith, and a top-10 protected pick in 2023.