After coming up short as NBA Championship favorites, the Boston Celtics are facing–what could be–a pivotal offseason. There’s certainly room for improvement after the way Boston’s season came to a close, losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
There’s been speculation that the team may look to trade some of its core, specifically Jaylen Brown, but that’s not the only way they can improve. The Celtics will have a mid-level exception to use this summer to potentially add free agents.
Amongst the names floated out there is former-league-MVP Russell Westbrook. The Athletic’s Danny Lereoux recently included the C’s on a list of teams he could see as landing spots for Westbrook this summer:
"“Of course, if he wants to make the most money, almost everyone can offer more, so role, team quality and location are presumably the other key factors. There does not appear to be another franchise likely to offer a starting spot (or starter money), but there could be young rosters and possibly playoff-caliber teams offering a third-guard role. Presumably, the most talented squads would at least have interest bringing in Westbrook as an option.Identifying specific suitors is tough because Westbrook is such a polarizing player at this point, but, intuitively, I could see the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers (if James Harden leaves), Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat (if Gabe Vincent leaves) as high-end teams looking for guard depth.”"
Does it make sense for the Boston Celtics to go after Russell Westbrook?
To be frank, no, not really. At least as the roster stands now.
Westbrook would be presumably be joining an already flooded backcourt alongside the likes of Marcus Smart, Derrick White, and Malcolm Brogdon. On top of that, he’d probably be the least fit of the four for a role with this current Celtics team.
The reason for that is simple really, he needs the ball to be effective and isn’t great at shooting threes, which is Boston’s absolute favorite thing, He shot about 3.5 threes per game last season, making them at a 35.6% clip. For his career, Westbrook is a 30.5% shooter from beyond the arc.
It’s tough to imagine the 34-year-old making much of an impact off-the-ball in Boston. An experiment involving Westbrook in Celtics green would likely go as well as his time with the Los Angeles Lakers (dreadful).
Boston Celtics predicted to trade Malcolm Brogdon
The fit wouldn’t be perfect, but the only situation where it’d make sense for Boston to bring in the former MVP would be if they moved on from one of their other guards.
Which might actually happen.
The Athletic’s Jay King recently predicted that Brogdon could be involved in a trade this offseason.
“The Celtics would still miss Brogdon, but he should have value around the league after staying healthy through most of a productive season,” King wrote. “It could be helpful to move off his contract, which still includes two more years at $22.5 million per season. They could do it as a salary dump of sorts to position themselves better for the impact of the new collective bargaining agreement or as a trade piece to acquire a different type of player.”