The Boston Celtics have the best record in the NBA and believe they can win it all. Brad Stevens and their front office boldly revamped their roster over the summer after making the conference finals five times in seven years but never getting over the hump to win a championship. Things are different this season. Boston has arguably the best top six in the league, but will they finally hang banner number 18?
The Celtics are not done. They have a $6.2 million trade exception to use before the Feb. 8 deadline (subscription required) and are eager to improve their roster. Boston is not messing with their top six, but getting one more quality role player could be the difference in winning it all or suffering another playoff heartbreak.
What do the Celtics need to accomplish before the trade deadline? Here are two things that would boost their championship odds and two the franchise must avoid.
Trade deadline boost: Add depth
The Celtics have a loaded starting lineup, and fans know Al Horford will play a massive role in the playoffs. Head coach Joe Mazzulla ran an eight-man rotation in the 2023 postseason. Sam Hauser has stepped forward as a key shot-maker, but who takes the final spot?
Payton Pritchard is the favorite, but the undersized point guard will struggle on the defensive end. Teams will attack him in the postseason, and Pritchard could quickly be played off the floor. He is also Boston’s biggest moveable contract before the deadline. Even if they keep him, the Celtics plan on winning 16 playoff games, so they need alternatives to explore.
Boston should go out and find at least one more option for their postseason rotation. They would love to add some depth and round out their roster. It could be the difference in a tight playoff game and any contest can swing a nail-biting series.