NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg repeatedly mentioned Alex Caruso as a trade deadline target when he was making the case for the Boston Celtics to go all in for Banner 18 in 2023-24, but at the end of his piece, he also surprisingly floated Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija."
"Should Stevens fret trading what will likely be the No. 30 pick in the 2024 draft? The only concern might be getting the receiving team to value it as much as another contender’s pick, which might slot slightly higher," Forsberg prefaced before saying, "Yes, trading something like the 2027 pick is riskier, but so too is not doing everything possible to win a title when you feel this tantalizingly close to a title.
"Win one now and all the future roster decisions get a whole lot easier. Oh sure, we’ll greedily write stories about the quest for multiple Larry O’Briens, but no one will be sweating those picks even after just one. So call the Bulls about Caruso. Phone the Wizards about Deni Avdija (yes, there’s a poison pill, but that sweet descending structure would be ideal for future rosters). Fortune favors the bold."
Deni Avdija would be a game-changer for the Boston Celtics
Woah. Avdija was a lottery pick many had high hopes for coming from Maccabi Tel Aviv of the EuroLeague; hopes to be at least what Franz Wagner is now for the Orlando Magic. Thus far, that hasn't been Avdija's story, but the Israeli shooter is finally coming along as a 3-point shooter (39%) this season.
The Celtics are not looking for a game-changer at the deadline, though, and spending big money on a player whose salary is about to significantly rise could price the Cs out of Jrue Holiday this offseason or Derrick White next.
That's not worth the overly aggressive bid towards Banner 18. Boston should be looking to keep the top six (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Holiday, White, Al Horford) in tow, perhaps Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser too, and then adding support around that. Avdija forces the Cs too include some of these pieces, and that should be a non-starter.