The idea that the Celtics need to make a move by the trade deadline has been something I’ve disagreed with since the start of the season. Now, after watching the Celtics get practically embarrassed in three-straight losses (Washington, San Antonio, and sadly… Philly), I am starting to lean into the idea of making some type of move to better this team.
It seems every fan wants the Celtics to make a move for a big man and not only a big man, but an absolute stud of a big man. AKA Andre Drummond or somehow Karl-Anthony Towns. First off, for either of those players, a trade would not be worth it (potentially). For KAT, they would have to give up the farm. Most likely including Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and maybe Daniel Theis for salary purposes. KAT is under contract for a few more years, so they won’t just trade him away for peanuts. The Celtics would have to give up one of our prized young guys and I am not sure we are ready for that. As far as Drummond goes, it is a different story. However, I still fall on the side of refraining from making the move. To get Drummond to Boston, it would take Gordon Hayward (most likely). Both players are going to be unrestricted free agents come 2021, so there is no gaining contract years in this trade. The Celtics would probably have to throw in picks or some other pieces as well, just due to the fact that Drummond is younger and probably more sought after. To me, Hayward (when healthy) can do so many things incredibly well. Come playoff time, I feel having Gordon Hayward on your team is going to be far more beneficial than having Andre Drummond.
Now let me be clear here… the aforementioned points are by no means me taking anything away from KAT and/or Drummond. In fact, both are players I have always loved (even prior to the NBA). I just don’t think a blockbuster-type deal for a big man serves the purpose some seem to believe it would. You want to bring in a realistic big man to help this team? I am all ears. I’m not arguing they could use a big, just arguing they don’t need a superstar big.
That’s all fine and dandy…the big man talk… but that is not why I am typing here today. I don’t see that being their biggest issue. The Celtics biggest issue, this season, is bench scoring. That is a statistic in which they rank 28th (of 30) in the entire league. Don’t think bench scoring is important? The two teams ahead of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference are both top-10 bench scoring teams (Bucks at 8 and Heat at 7). It is clearly not the end-all-be-all in terms of being a great team and winning a championship, but in this case – for this Celtics season – it has shown to be crucial. There have been numerous occasions in which the Celtics bench comes in and there is huge drop in terms of offensive production. Which hint, hint, offense is pretty important in the league nowadays (not that it hasn’t always been). To show the disparity here: The Celtics are the 3rd ranked starting unit when it comes to scoring, which is amazing, but here is just no balance in that whatsoever. I am not looking for the starters to move down at all, so the only way to balance this out is if something changes with the bench.
So whether it comes down to signing a free agent or making a move to secure someone that can provide a spark off the bench, the Celtics need something to happen. They need it to happen badly. The question comes down to “Who would it be?” That is something I don’t have the answer to. However, finding a scorer that is looking for (or ready) for more of a role in this league is not nearly as hard as attempting to bring in a superstar big man. They wouldn’t have to give up any of the studs on the team currently, yet they’d still (and I trust Danny) be able to bring someone in that sparks this team and brings them up to a new level.
That is what the Celtics truly need. Would a big man be beneficial? Sure. But the only necessity is a bench spark that can score.
I discuss this further on the recent episode of Ev Singleton: UNLEASHED. Check it out. Be sure to subscribe, rate, and review on iTunes.