Boston Celtics: This Heat-76ers megadeal would create east superteam

The Boston Celtics would be in trouble if this megadeal went down (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Boston Celtics would be in trouble if this megadeal went down (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

In a brave new post-Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Championship world, it’s the rest of the conference that needs to catch up.

Before we continue, yes, Hardwood Houdini will acknowledge that the Cs had a great deal of luck not having to face Khris Middleton in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. That they barely escaped the Bucks in the east semifinals round means Middleton could be a pendulum swing by himself.

The Boston Celtics are the class of the Eastern Conference

Having said that, it’s correct to say that Boston is the highest team on the east totem pole and the other teams in the conference need to do what they can to catch up. This current Boston Celtics core isn’t going anywhere regardless of the NBA Finals result.

The main competition is built on stilts relative to the backbone of Boston’s rotation. No team, besides Milwaukee, has the necessary firepower at the moment to definitively head into 2022-23 with the confidence to conquer the Celtics.

This mock trade we’ve come up with creates a new Miami superteam and helps Philadelphia avoid getting stuck with an aging high-priced core, moving at least one more team towards the Boston Celtics’ level:

Why the Miami Heat do it

The last time the Heat were on top of the NBA world was when they had a ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. It’s possible that James Harden, Jimmy Butler, and Joel Embiid is a more talented trio individually, though there’s no guarantee that it’d work as well.

Either way, with a chance to team up the Harden-Embiid pick-and-roll combo with alpha dog Jimmy ‘Buckets’ and Tyler Herro would be worth all of the draft capital it’d take to get this swap done.

Why the Philadelphia 76ers do it

If one is to trade Joel Embiid and James Harden in one transaction–which would require Harden to opt into his player option–they’d do well to get enough talent to build around Tyrese Maxey, who’d be their No. 1 option by default after this deal.

Kyle Lowry would be the perfect backcourt mate to bring him along, while Bam Adebayo makes for a perfect Joel Embiid replacement. Duncan Robinson could replace Danny Green (non-guaranteed $10 million team option) who’d be redundant in this mock swap’s aftermath.

Parting with three future picks is what it’d likely take to part with the most physically dominant center the NBA has had since Shaquille O’Neal, but Philadelphia would do well to avoid handing Harden an extension, so this is the price they’d pay.

Next. This mock trade creates two significant east roadblocks. dark