Grade the trade: Celtics land Damian Lillard in proposed blockbuster

Boston Celtics, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Celtics made the conference finals for the fifth time in seven years, but a disappointing exit in the final four has them ready to make moves. They already traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis and two first-round draft picks. Boston also let Grant Williams walk, but a blockbuster trade could still be on the horizon. There is no bigger name on the market than Damian Lillard, and the Celtics have expressed interest.

Acquiring the seven-time All-Star point guard from the Blazers does not mean trading Jaylen Brown. There will be future salary issues, especially if they plan to re-sign Brown to a supermax extension, but the Celtics could all-in in hopes of winning the title in 2024.

Lillard is an unquestioned superstar and one of the top 15 players in the NBA, but should Boston trade for him? The seven-time All-Star wants out of Portland to play for a contender. The Heat top Lillard’s preferred list, but if the Blazers refuse to trade with Miami, the Celtics could quickly jump to the front of the line.

Do the Boston Celtics want to go all-in to get Damian Lillard?

Lillard would give the C’s an elite point guard, shooter, and ball-handler to set up Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis. Their starting five would be dangerous and arguably the best in the league. Trading for Dame would impact the Celtics’ depth, but the rotation shrinking in the playoffs would lessen the impact.

The Trail Blazers would enter a rebuild if they trade Lillard, so Boston should try to keep Derrick White and Al Horford to match up against any opponent in the playoffs.

Boston’s versatility and flexibility would make them the title favorite if they traded for Damian Lillard, but how much would they have to give up to land the seven-time All-Star?