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CelticsBlog debate a potential Nemanja-Bjelica-to-Boston trade

In the hypothetical, Boston would give up Semi Ojeleye, Carsen Edwards, Vincent Poirier, and a pick.

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Boston Celtics v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

With less than a week to go before the trade deadline on February 6th, we’ll debate some of the ideas and rumors that have surfaced over the last couple of weeks. If you need to take stock of Danny Ainge’s war chest of assets, make sure to check out Keith Smith’s trade primer for what Boston has to offer and what they might be looking for, both in the trade and buyout market.

This one comes from another CelticsBlog alum Jared Weiss at The Athletic:

Let’s imagine how the trade talks for Nemanja Bjelica might go:

Vlade Divac (Kings boss): “We want two first-round picks for Bogdan Bogdanovic.”

Danny Ainge (Celtics boss): Laughs while eating at Chipotle “How about two seconds?”

Divac: “Ha! For that, maybe you can have Bjelica and a bag of balls.”

Ainge: “How about the Brooklyn second-rounder, Carsen Edwards, Vincent Poirier and Semi Ojeleye?”

Divac: “And the Chipotle card.”

Ainge: Angry crosstalk “OK, OK, fine.”

Here’s our take:

Jeff Clark: Yes, do this now. This is my favorite theoretical trade that I’ve seen thus far. We need shooting and he’s got some size as well. It doesn’t come without cost though. I am still a long term believer in Edwards as a bench scoring threat and we’ll miss the option of bringing Semi off the bench for spot defensive assignments, but stretching the floor to give our wings more lanes to drive is a great element to add at the deadline at a reasonable cost.

Adam Taylor: This solves two issues in one move. First, it removes the logjam at the 5 assuming Williams returns to basketball activity this season. Second, it drastically improves the team’s bench scoring, which also provides Brad more options when staggering the lineups.

Edwards will be a tough pill to swallow, however, it can be offset by opening the door to Waters stepping into an NBA contract next year. Overall, this trade instantly improves the trajectory of the team for the rest of the season and provides more options heading into the summer. Pull the trigger, Danny!

Bill Sy: That’s a good thought about Waters, but curiously, can you trade two-way players and how does that work if you can?

Keith Smith: Yes. But they count for $0 in salary matching.

This trade is tough for me. Semi Ojeleye has been playing really well for Boston. Arguably, he’s played the best basketball of his NBA career over the last month or so. And he’s a key defender for the Celtics against the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ben Simmons.

That said, Nemanja Bjelica is such an upgrade for Boston. He’d give them a big with legitimate range off the bench, but he’s also more than that. Bjelica can score as more than just a spot-up shooter. He can put it on the deck a bit and score off the bounce. He’s not much to write home about as a defender, but he can rebound the ball. I’d pull the trigger and hope that maybe Grant Williams can take over Ojeleye’s role. But it’s not a no-brainer for me.

Jack Noonan: This trade is a yes for me. I like it much more than others that have been floated around. It is probably because these pieces are more expendable than a Marcus Smart or Daniel Theis/Enes Kanter, but I like the fit of Bjelica as well. He can be a crucial bench scorer that the Celtics need. Plus his size would help out with the front court depth making the loss of Ojeleye easier to adjust to. I am not sure the Kings would take this trade because of the lack of instant return, but the Celtics should do this trade if it comes across the wire.

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