Boston Celtics: B/R pitches expiring big man with 3-point range as trade target

The Boston Celtics are an interesting case study during the 2022-23 season — they’ve had games where clear weaknesses were on full display, but they’ve also had performances where their biggest roadblocks appeared as hard to move past as tumbleweeds in an Old Western film.

Boston is currently on a hot streak, having easily dispatched opponents during this holiday season with ease, making it uncertain whether or not there will be a move made ahead of the Thursday, February 9 NBA trade deadline.

Still, if injuries pop up before then — particularly to the team’s aging and banged-up frontcourt — there could be a trade worth pursuing for Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and co. Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley believes that Magic big man Mo Bamba, who has become a reserve with the emergence of Bol Bol in the Orlando frontcourt, could be a target over the next month and a half:

“A floor-spacing big would give the offense more breathing room. Boston has one in Al Horford, but it might want to carefully track his floor time since he’ll turn 37 in June. The Celtics sort of have another in Grant Williams, but the 6’6″, 236-pounder doesn’t have a ton of size or athleticism.”

“Boston won’t break the bank to address this need or any other, because this roster hardly needs any help. However, a solid reserve center with range, like the Orlando Magic’s Mo Bamba for instance, could become a nightly regular and maintain that role come playoff time.”

What the Boston Celtics could offer the Magic for Mo Bamba

For years, Mo Bamba has been someone the Houdini has desired for the Boston Celtics frontcourt. Given his recent strides in his long-range shooting, there may not be a better time to pursue a deal for Bamba — who is converting on 38% of his 3-pointers on three attempts per game this season.

Should Grant Williams become too expensive to retain, acquiring Bamba at $10 million this year and next (player option), with the opportunity to retain him at a similar value in the long-term, could be a good way to hedge on a Williams poison pill offer sheet.