The Celtics have a wealth of assets at their disposal, with a myriad of draft picks, including the rights to swap first round picks with Brooklyn in 2017 (unprotected) and the Nets 1st round pick in 2018 (also unprotected), some young and talented players and team friendly contracts.
Celtics fans have been waiting for Danny Ainge to pull the sort of franchise-altering trade similar to the two that he pulled in 2007 which led the Celtics to the 2008 title nine years ago. Here are the Top 4 trades Celtics Fans would like to see.
This has been a long-standing rumor since last year's draft. Many Celtics fans see Butler as the perfect fit in the Celtics lineup, while also giving them another scoring option to accompany Isaiah Thomas. Butler is having a career year, averaging career highs in points, steals, assists and rebounds. Butler would not only give the Celtics the extra boost in scoring but also another defensive presence. Jimmy can also play the two or the three, which will add some versatility to their lineup. Butler will also fit into the mold that Brad Stevens envisions, a player that works extremely hard and is willing to give 100% effort every game.
If you don’t know about Butler's story, I highly recommended you have a look at it. Butler would be the best fit for the team in terms of offense, defense, and the mentality that Brad Stevens is bringing to the Celtics.
Paul George was a name that was linked with the Celtics towards the end of this year’s trade deadline. George is a perennial All-Star and four years ago he troubled LeBron and the Heat to force a game seven in the Eastern Conference Finals. Once upon a time, George was considered one of the top three SF’s in the league, along with KD and LeBron. But since his horrible leg injury in 2014 during a Team USA practice, he hasn’t been his explosive self. Yes, even though his stats are near career-best, he doesn’t have that game changer edge about him that he did when he led the Pacers against the Heat.
George would definitely add a scoring option and defensive presence to their lineup and would take the pressure off of Thomas, but most Celtics fans see George as a backup plan if they can’t acquire Jimmy Butler.
The twitter-verse was set alight when both Thomas and Drummond tweeted the eye emoji, which got people talking about the fact that Drummond might be traded to the Celtics. Then came the rumors the Pistons were considering trading Drummond. Drummond would add the interior defense and rebounding the Celtics sorely need. This move would also allow Al Horford to move to the 4 position and would create a great pick and roll combo with Thomas. Drummond would also add an interior scoring presence and an inside option that Thomas could pass to off the drive. Drummond does have a slight free throw issue, averaging .385% through his whole career, which would force the Celtics to bring him to the bench in close game situations.
While Drummond would add the interior presence that the Celtics need he lacks the ability to stretch the floor unlike the player next on this list.
Melo is in a really bad situation in New York with Phil Jackson constantly making snide remarks on how Melo plays and his personality. Before the trade deadline, Melo was heavily linked with either the Celtics or the Clippers. While Melo would be able to add an extra scoring option for the Celtics, he can at times be a defensive liability. Melo is a renowned isolation scorer, but on the Celtics, Thomas would be able to create enough space for Melo to hit his wide open jumpers, something he has being deprived of in New York.
We have all seen what Melo can do when he is the second or third scoring option for a team, as evidenced in Team USA where he is absolute fire. Fans are divided on the impact that Melo would have, but there is no doubt that he would add a massive scoring option to the Celtics.
While Celtics fans are anxious for Ainge to make a move, he has constantly stated he will not let a team gut the Celtics of all their assets. But if he is somehow able to get one or even two of these players without giving up a king’s ransom, Celtics fans would be happy.
But one thing is for sure, if the Celtics are to compete with a full strength Cavs, Warriors or Spurs team, they are going to need another bonafide star to help Thomas and the Celtics to the NBA Championship.