A very popular offseason topic around Boston Celtics circles right now is whether or not the team needs a ‘true point guard’ — this, in the wake of Marcus Smart’s insertion into the starting floor general role by Ime Udoka coinciding with a run to the NBA Finals.
The belief among a large number of circles, Hardwood Houdini included, is that the starting five is likely good enough as is to at least get back to the Eastern Conference finals in 2023. A healthy Milwaukee Bucks squad should present the biggest challenge to Boston on their side of the postseason bracket, but the Miami Heat have the means to make a major move for another star (Kyrie Irving perhaps?) and the Brooklyn Nets will remain dangerous if they can keep their core from imploding.
If they were to explore adding a new floor general this offseason to complement Marcus Smart in the backcourt, or the Cs front office decided to just nuke the entire thing altogether and send away Smart in such a swap, Chowder & Champions’ Owen Crisafulli wants to see Mike Conley or Malcolm Brogdon make his way to Boston.
Here’s what Crisafulli thinks the Boston Celtics would be willing to offer in a swap for Conley this offseason:
“A trade package would probably involve draft picks and somebody like White or maybe prospects like Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith, but if Utah wants to move Conley it would make the Celtics life easier in terms of making a deal work. Conley is a grizzled veteran who could give Boston the offensive firepower it needs to take the next step forward as a title contender.”
Meanwhile, this Crisafulli believes that for a Brogdon swap, it would take even less to pry the Indiana Pacers PG out of the ‘Circle City’:
“Brogdon is probably a better player than Conley right now, but Indiana wants to get rid of him, which may decrease the return for him. Picks and prospects may do here, and Brogdon could come in and be an offensive specialist for the Boston Celtics.”
The Boston Celtics are more likely to find a PG that fits into one of their TPEs
With the capability of adding a medium-priced player at no cost other than a future draft pick, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens would be better off exploring adding without subtracting to the roster than pawning off key role players like Derrick White or Payton Pritchard to land a non-star point guard.
If the Cs wanted to go big-game hunting, that’d be a different scenario. In terms of gettable guards on the trade market, though, the level Conley and Brogdon occupy is where the other options are at themselves. That includes guards like D’Angelo Russell and De’Aaron Fox, who similarly raise Boston’s ceiling but only if the outgoing pieces don’t include anyone from the team’s core.
The biggest swing the Celtics should consider is Chris Paul, who could be part of an offseason overhaul in Phoenix that is surely going to involve Deandre Ayton getting signed-and-traded away from the Suns. Paul is one of the few PGs in the game that could realistically improve Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Browns’ scoring and efficiency. Even then, if Marcus Smart is required to get a deal done, Stevens and co. ought to say no and aim to improve around the edges as opposed to swinging for the fences on a core-shifting star.