If there is anything close to as certain as the old proverb suggests death and taxes are, it is the inclusion of the Boston Celtics in recent years in trade proposals ahead of the league’s annual February moratorium on such deals.
And true to form, another popped up this week from the folks over at Bleacher Report, with analyst Dan Favale whipping up a mini-blockbuster that would change the face of the Celtics significantly without trading away either of their All-Star forwards in Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. But the ask going back for this star wing might still be too rich for the blood of many fans, and for us as well despite bringing back the Portland Trail Blazers’ CJ McCollum.
Let’s take a look at the offer, and why we aren’t crazy about it despite the return.
As Favale notes, the Blazers are looking to retool more than rebuild, and Boston has a surfeit of rotation players it needs to consolidate, making for a potential match in terms of trades.
The deal in question sends McCollum and teammate Ben McLemore to Boston for Juancho Hernangomez, Romeo Langford, Josh Richardson, and Robert Williams III with no draft assets in the mix.
Favale’s logic for the trade is that such a deal helps Portland get deeper in areas it needs help — particularly on defense.
“The Blazers get younger by adding Langford (22) and Williams (24) while significantly beefing up their defense. Richardson guards up and down the positional spectrum and is on the books for another year at less than $13 million. Langford has given the Celtics some active defensive minutes and shown flashes of better shooting.”
The frontcourt flexibility it would also give the Trail Blazers is also a selling point to that organization.
“Williams is ideally suited to aggressive coverages and starts a team-friendly four-year, $48 million extension next season,” he added.
“The Blazers are free to trade Jusuf Nurkic or let him walk over the summer and should not be opposed to trying RWIII-Larry Nance Jr. frontlines,” he adds, hinting at a direction this deal could be expanded — more on this shortly.
Favale’s logic for the Celtics makes sense, even if he doesn’t make quite the case he does for Portland in this proposed trade.
“McCollum is more essential in Boston, which needs another from-scratch scorer and additional shooter. He doesn’t put pressure on the rim and doesn’t have a timetable for his return from a collapsed lung, but when healthy, he’s a mid-range artist who has honed his off-the-dribble three.”
The team very much does need more shooting, but it is unclear if the Ohio native will be an ideal third option, or if the team is better off holding onto its better potential trade assets for a player who is a better fit in terms of age and potential impact.
Factor in the collapsed lung and the mystery of how his play will be moving forward added to the team’s paper-thin depth up front after such a deal along with Timelord’s team-friendly contract and budding passing game, and we have to pass.
There’s at least a case to be made for such a deal — centers, as Favale notes — are generally the easiest position to make up for and McCollum no doubt an elite guard and scorer when healthy.
But bigs able to move the ball and protect the rim as well as the perimeter are not so easily replaced, though a version of this trade folding Jusuf Nurkic into the trade might make more sense for Boston.
This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!
We get the frustration of some, but there’s only a handful of players in the league worth considering trading the Georgia native for. https://t.co/iYuncf9ACP
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) December 26, 2021