After exacting revenge over the Brooklyn Nets in the 2022 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals–the same ball club that trounced them from the first-round in last year’s postseason, mind you–the Boston Celtics find themselves preparing for a round-two matchup against the defending champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, that will tip-off this coming Sunday.
Now, with this, it’s more than evident that this C’s team is right in the thick of it in regard to this year’s playoff hunt and, based on how they’ve played during the second half of the regular season and during their first-round bout against the star-studded Nets, they have a legitimate chance of taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy come year’s end.
However, there are still some out there who are just a tad bit worried that this campaign will end without banner No. 18 being hoisted into the rafters at TD Garden and, should this happen, they are under the impression that sizeable shakeups could be on the horizon this offseason in an effort to bring the franchise closer to achieving glory come 2022-23.
Should this happen, and the Boston Celtics fall short of winning their first title since 2008, there are some who believe that Brad Stevens and co. could wind up going for gold with their summer endeavors by looking to make some sort of blockbuster deal to add some extra oomph in the star-power department and, just recently, the folks at NBA Analysis Network concocted a deal that, in their opinion, would do just that.
The goal of said deal: bring Damian Lillard to Boston.
The exact trade proposed reads as follows:
After enduring such a tumultuous season with the Portland Trail Blazers–one where he missed significant time due to injury, saw his co-star, CJ McCollum, be traded to New Orleans, and had his team miss the playoffs for the first time in nine years–, many believe that perhaps now is the time for the franchise to part ways with their star point guard in an attempt to allow them to start a full-fledged rebuild whilst allowing him to go on and legitimately compete for a ring.
Should the Celtics end their 2021-22 season empty-handed, writer, Andy Quach, believes they could consider making a move for the perennial All-Star, and believes that swapping out Jaylen Brown in exchange could be a move worth making:
"There’s no doubt that a superstar pairing of Lillard and Tatum, surrounded by Boston’s remaining quality role players, would still make for a contender, but this trade would drastically shorten the Celtics’ window.Maybe if Boston’s 2021-22 season ended the way it started — with Tatum and Brown struggling to find cohesion and the Celtics looking more the part of a Play-In team than a true contender — this drastic of a move would make sense.But with Tatum and Brown leading one of the NBA’s best defenses and the East’s dark-horse favorite, most Cs fans would prefer the team sit tight or make upgrades along the margins."
The concept of Damian Lillard being traded to the Boston Celtics is by no means new, as we’ve been seeing this hypothetical scenario being pushed for quite some time now.
Yes, the point guard is truly a generational talent who was just recently selected to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team. With career averages of 24.6 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.2 rebounds it’s evident that his on-court production is top-notch, while his individual accolades (6x All-Star and 6x All-NBA selection) and the overall impact that he’s had on his teams throughout the years are equally as impressive.
That said, considering the fact that he’ll be 32 come the start of next season, played just 29 games this season, and will be making an average of $45.6 million through 2024-25, would it really be worth exchanging someone of Brown’s ilk who is nearly eight years his younger, is coming off one of his best seasons as a pro, and will be making an average of just $27.6 million throughout the duration of his contract?
On top of all this, the Boston Celtics have managed to become one of the best teams in the entire league on both sides of the ball with Brown and Jayson Tatum leading the charge, proving that they can, in fact, coexist alongside one another.
Now, granted, Quach did construct this trade package with the mindset of the C’s falling short of a title this year due to “Tatum and Brown struggling to find cohesion” but, to us, we find this to be a bit of an unnecessary hypothetical considering the fact that, again, they’ve played so well together and spearheaded the charge for the team’s midseason turnaround and series sweep over Brooklyn.
While we’ve been on the record of stating that Damian Lillard is one of our favorite guards in the league, the concept of swapping Brown out for the aging star doesn’t seem like a future we’d like to see become a reality.