Proposed trade sends Boston Celtics off-the-bench-launcher for protected first-rounder

Mar 9, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Jett Howard (13) shoots against the Rutgers
Mar 9, 2023; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines guard Jett Howard (13) shoots against the Rutgers / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley believes Orlando Magic rookie Jett Howard is an ideal system fit as an "off-the-bench-launcher"; even if he'd cost a bit more than Atlanta Hawks forward A.J. Griffin would.

"His NBA stats are a mess (34.8/27.8/50 shooting slash), but the sample size is so microscopic that no big-picture takeaways should be extracted from it," Buckley prefaced before saying, "In the G League, the shooting specialist has lived up to the label by averaging 3.6 three-pointers per game on 37.7 percent shooting.

"Given Boston's affinity for the long ball, Howard could be an easy system fit as an off-the-bench launcher. He would cost more than Griffin to get, but if the Celtics are bullish about Howard, they could make the Magic really think by putting a protected first-round pick on the table."

Magic coach Jamahl Mosley on potential Boston Celtics trade target Jett Howard's improvement

Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley was bullish on Howard's improvements on February 29 discussing how Howard has progressed in the G-League after his inefficient first 13 games of his NBA career; one in which he had a 35/28/50 shooting split.

"I think the game has slowed down for him," Mosley said (h/t The Rookie Wire). "Coach Dylan (Murphy) has done a tremendous job of putting him in positions to be successful. (He is) handling the basketball more and not just being predicated on being a shooter."

Howard's improvement is one Orlando will surely monitor, but if the culture fit is already a rough one, it wouldn't be too shocking to see GM Anthony Parker find greener pastures for the former Michigan star and son of recently-fired head coach Juwan Morgan.

The Celtics may seem like greener pastures, and are if you want to be literal, but Boston is unlikely to take any risks with their roster at this point. By the offseason, they'll either have their first title and will be in search of a repeat, or will be continuing their search for the right mix.

Almost nothing has indicated Howard can be that just yet.