The Celtics Bumpy Start

Evan Fishback, Staff Writer


The Celtics season can only be described as a train wreck so far; they haven’t been able to find their identity at all and the trade deadline is now less than a month away. For most teams, a .500 season wouldn’t be seen as such a catastrophe, but for a team coming off their second Eastern Conference Finals in three years, it’s disappointing. They’ve been in win-now mode for the past four seasons and have zero NBA Finals appearances to show for it. With the way this season is going, it’s time for a shake-up.

The Celtics are in need of a big who can shoot. Boston has also had a major issue with protecting the rim all season, aside from the minutes when Robert Williams is on the court. Many fans have called for coach Brad Stevens to give Williams the start at center, putting him in the starting lineup and seeing how it impacts the team should be the first move for the Celtics. If that fails, then it should be time to make some moves.

I see three possible targets that are likely to be available when the trade deadline comes around, on March 25. The first, and best possible player that the Celtics could acquire is Nikola Vucevic, who currently plays for the Orlando Magic. Vooch is an all-star once again and is likely going to be the best that the Celtics would be able to get at center. Vucevic’s elite perimeter shooting and rebounding would lift this hurting Boston roster. He could be a stretch, but it’s not unlikely that he could be on the move soon. 

The Magic are thirteenth in the East and are likely to blow up their roster, moving Vooch would make sense given his salary. The Celtics would likely have to give up Kemba Walker along with Tristan Thompson and possibly draft picks or Romeo Langford, but if they give up that pair, Boston could likely get Evan Fournier from the Magic as well. Fournier would give the Celtics a much-needed guard creator to pair with Payton Pritchard coming off the bench.

The next best option would be trading for Kristaps Porzingis of the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs big has been up and down with injuries his whole career, but when he’s healthy he can be one of the best bigs in the league. The Mavericks have expressed interest in seeing how teams value Porzingis, and this move would benefit both sides. A seven-footer who can shoot the ball and is a great playmaker would raise the Celtics to another level. 

The package of Walker and Thomson applies again here, likely with draft capital and another young player. This would allow for Mavs role player Josh Richardson to be added into the mix, giving Boston a strong bench backcourt. Whether Richardson will be available is unknown, but it would certainly boost the Celtics guard rotation.

The last trade option that I see for the Celtics is someone who hasn’t been talked about since he broke onto the scene two years ago. That is Chicago Bulls big, Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen has been extremely underrated since his breakout season. The Bulls don’t seem to have much faith in him either. Given Markkanens current situation, this deal would allow the Celtics to hold on to Kemba Walker. Markkanen is only getting $6.7 million for one more year, so if the deal doesn’t work out, it’s not a waste. 

The decision to put Markkanen on this list may surprise some, but his perimeter shooting mixed with his rebounding ability would help the Celtics a ton. On top of his playing ability, he’s also very young and if he fits, would allow him to be implemented into Boston’s incredible young core. 

These three options would make a major impact and hopefully would right the ship in Boston by adding more balance to the floor and perimeter shooting from the bigs. Check back in at the end of the month, and I’ll write more about how it played out.  Hopefully, there’ll be some good news to report (along with some more wins for the Celts). Who do you think The Celtics should trade or try to get on board in the next couple of weeks? Comment below.