Proposed trade sends former Kentucky star to Boston Celtics for backcourt trade deadline addition

Denver Nuggets v Indiana Pacers
Denver Nuggets v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley believes that if the Boston Celtics were able to, they'd want to swap backcourt trade deadline addition Jaden Springer, a 2024 second-round pick (via DAL), and a 2026 second-round pick (via MIN, NYK, NOP or POR) to the Indiana Pacers for ex-Kentucky star Isaiah Jackson.

Buckley made the case that the Cs may need more frontcourt insurance, particularly in the shot-blocking department, even with the addition of Xavier Tillman from the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2024 deadline.

"The Celtics didn't leave their frontcourt untouched at the deadline, but can Xavier Tillman provide all the protection they need? Because between Kristaps Porziņģis' injury history and the fact Al Horford is mere months away from his 38th birthday, this group arguably requires more insurance than most," Buckley wrote.

"Adding a shot-blocker like Jackson, a career supplier of 3.2 rejections per 36 minutes, would help ensure the Celtics always have at least one rim deterrent available to them. And since Indiana's crowded frontcourt has limited him to a career-low 13.7 minutes this season, he presumably wouldn't cost much to get."

Boston Celtics could use rim-runner like Isaiah Jackson on second unit

The Celtics have a two-way rim-runner in the vein of Robert Williams III with Kristaps Porzingis, but the Latvian star is prone to sit more than a handful of games each season, just like the man he replaced in Joe Mazzulla's rotation.

Tillman isn't that, and Al Horford's days of being a high-flying lob-finisher are numbered. Adding Jackson would bring efficient offense and spectacular at-the-rim defense; not to mention highlight-reel plays for the TD Garden crowd.

The Celtics probably wish they can make this deal now, even if trading Springer would rob depth from a backcourt that cannot afford an injury to Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, or Payton Pritchard.

Perhaps this can be revisited in the offseason.

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