Pacers big man a trade target if Boston Celtics lose Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman in free agency

Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

If the Boston Celtics were to lose Luke Kornet and/or Xavier Tillman Sr. in the offseason to opportunistic franchises in free agency, Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley believes the Cs can pursue Indiana Pacers big man Isaiah Jackson via trade; particularly because of Al Horford's age and Kristaps Porzingis's injury woes, which have returned in the 2024 playoffs.

"...depth at center should remain a focus, especially if free agency lures away one or both of Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman," Buckley wrote. "If the Celtics have holes to fill up front, Isaiah Jackson could be a really intriguing target.

"A first-round pick in 2021, he hasn't found a ton of minutes on some crowded frontcourts in Indiana, but when he gets the call, he provides an immediate jolt of shot-blocking and above-the-rim finishing. He could really shine on the back line of this defense and on the receiving end of lob passes from Boston's many playmakers."

Jackson has seen his shot attempts per game plummet in 2023-24, likely signaling that it's time to move on from Indiana. The midseason acquisition of Pascal Siakam and the offseason addition of Obi Toppin shifted Jackson to the back of the bench. Competing with Jarace Walker and Jalen Smith, Jackson has become an afterthought for the Pacers.

In Boston, though, he'd have a chance to become a somewhat regular contributor in the event teams poach Kornet and Tillman.

Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman could be goners if Boston Celtics win it all

The most likely scenario that'd see the Celtics lose Kornet is Tillman is winning the championship at the conclusion of the 2024 postseason.

It's a yearly occurrence: once teams win it all, teams around the Association tend to circle the waters like sharks to steal said championship contributors with the purpose of adding a player with a ring to their locker rooms.

Kornet, in particular, looks like a potential beneficiary of Porzingis missing time. The Vanderbilt product should have ample opportunities to prove his worth in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, especially if Boston faces off against the Cleveland Cavaliers and their oversized frontcourt.