The Boston Celtics don’t look like they need a trade to improve their roster at the moment, but the much-needed caveat that the Cs have played one (1) game is necessary to provide context to that statement.
Things could change in a day, a week, a month, or even in the days leading up to the 2023 NBA trade deadline. Injuries happen at a moment’s notice, and plans can change on a dime when a key rotation piece goes down.
Such a scenario is ever present for any team in the league — as is the distinct possibility of underperformance — and thus Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley came up with every NBA team’s top 3 trade assets.
In his Boston Celtics slide, the first name Buckley lists is Danny Ainge’s final first-round draft selection in 2020, Payton Pritchard:
"“Pritchard has struggled to find consistent floor time through two NBA seasons, and that could continue to be a challenge given his lack of size (6’1″, 195 lbs) and athletic limitations. However, teams could still see significant spark-plug potential in him, as he pairs a fiery three-ball (career 41.2 percent) with sound decision-making (1.9 assists against 0.7 turnovers).”"
Meanwhile, the third name listed, and in Buckley’s rankings, the top name, is 2019 first-rounder Grant Williams — who recently failed to reach an agreement with the Cs before the deadline for rookie-scale contract extensions:
"“The Celtics opted against extending Williams, which could be a signal that he’s not a part of the franchise’s future plans.”“Should they not want to cover the cost of his upcoming free agency, they should find a healthy market of interested suitors. Last season was his first in a prominent rotation role, and he responded by striping 41.1 percent of his long-range looks and flashing impressive defensive versatility for a 6’6″, 236-pound forward.”"
The other asset listed Boston Celtics is the most likely to be used
When it comes down to what the Boston Celtics would most likely use, at the forefront of any strategy for President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and co. is trading away future picks for win-now assets.
At both the 2022 trade deadline and on the first day of free agency, the C’s front office used draft picks to bring over double-digit points-per-game scorers in Derrick White (from the San Antonio Spurs) and Malcolm Brogdon (from the Indiana Pacers). Both figure to be crucial components of the team’s rotation moving forward, and finding a player at a similar caliber for either of the team’s TPEs from the Dennis Schroder and Juan Hernangomez trades last season is likely Stevens’ goal.