NBA Analysis Network recently concocted a mock trade proposal published on March 17 that would see the Boston Celtics land Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, and a future first-round draft pick while sending Miami Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams III.
It wouldn’t work in the real world, though.
While the thought of Adebayo anchoring a defense in the middle in the same way “The Time Lord” does while replacing Brown with another 20+ points per game scorer capable of getting easy buckets at the rim while shooting 55% from the field in his career does sound tantalizing, the NBA’s designated rookie rule prevents the Heat center from playing on the Boston Celtics — unless they did the unthinkable and traded Jayson Tatum.
The designated rookie rule prevents the Boston Celtics from adding many stars next to Jayson Tatum
HoopsRumors.com explained the NBA’s designated rookie rule in their glossary. “A designated rookie extension is a five-year extension given to a player who is entering the final year of his rookie scale contract,” they wrote. “It must be worth the maximum salary, but it’s that fifth year in particular that makes a player a “designated rookie.”
Tatum is on a designated rookie extension, meaning the Celtics cannot have another such player unless the player was drafted to Boston. Adebayo is undoubtedly a difference-maker, but dealing away an MVP candidate to facilitate landing him wouldn’t be the best business decision.
The Boston Celtics could explore a Robert Williams III trade in the offseason
Should Boston fall short of hanging Banner 18, it could be because “The Time Lord” ends up inactive during key stretches of the 2023 postseason. Williams has missed 43 games during the 2022-23 season as of March 18, and that number only figures to creep up as the playoffs near.
It’s not impossible to imagine a Williams trade in the offseason so the Celtics could have a rotation that can be relied on health-wise.