GoPHNX.com’s Gerald Bourguet concocted a number of hypothetical Damian Lillard trade proposals that hinged on the inclusion of Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, and one of them involved the Boston Celtics; heavily involved, that is.
Bourguet’s proposal gutted the entire depth chart for Boston, sending out Derrick White, Al Horford, Robert Williams III, and Malcolm Brogdon, but in return, becoming the winners of the Dame sweepstakes — but with the remaining $54 million on Jusuk Nurkic’s salary attached to it in lieu of draft picks. White and Williams would land with the Portland Trail Blazers alongside Ayton, while Horford and Brogdon would join the Suns’ existing Big Three of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal.
Is that scenario a win for the Celtics?
Trade grade for the Boston Celtics: C-
Bourguet admits that his deal is one the Cs wouldn’t consider given their lack of championship aspirations in the aforementioned hypothetical that the front office goes all-in on landing Lillard and Nurkic.
“Boston already lost Marcus Smart and Grant Williams over the summer,” Bourguet prefaced before saying, “Sending out Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Al Horford and Robert Williams III would take a sizable chunk out of the rotation. Outside of that Big 4 and the newly-acquired Nurkic, Boston would be relying on…Payton Pritchard? Oshae Brissett? Svi Mykhailiuk and Luke Kornet? That’s hardly a championship-caliber bench.”
While the starting five would be unrivaled by any in the league 1-5 in talent and potential, and would, if healthy, have the chance of being generational on the offensive end, the bench would be so barren that one injury to a starter would likely derail any serious deep postseason run.
In addition to the internal roster damage Boston’s front office would inflict, this deal would strengthen the Suns; giving Phoenix a possible fit upgrade at the 5 and a second-unit floor general coming off a Sixth Man of the Year award. As they are, the Suns may not be a bona fide contender, but this deal would make them one.