Trade season is closing in on us, and the rumor mill has started churning. Usually, the Boston Celtics find themselves linked with disgruntled stars or top-quality rotation players who have found themselves on the unfavorable end of the bench.
However, this season is a little different for Boston. No longer do they possess an enviable war-chest of draft picks, or high-end young talent good enough to entice a star-level trade. Instead, the Celtics have two All-Star wings, a center on the rise, and a plethora of middling role players and young assets.
As such, Brad Stevens will be doing his mid-season shopping at the discount rack, should he decide to make a purchase at all. HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto filled us in on two names the Celtics are rumored to have an interest in.
“The Boston Celtics have expressed interest in re-acquiring forward Jeff Green, league sources told HoopsHype. Green was coached by Brad Stevens in Boston. I’ve also heard former lottery pick Aaron Nesmith and guard Dennis Schroeder are also available in Boston. They’ve made several calls doing due diligence, including to Phoenix regarding Jalen Smith’s availability.”
Celtics fans will be familiar with Jeff Green, a versatile wing who had a spell in Boston during his early career and was part of the trade that saw Kendrick Perkins head to the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2011. Green spent a shade under three years in Boston between 2011 and 2015 before being traded as part of a five-player deal that saw Tayshaun Prince and Austin Rivers head to Boston (with the latter never played a game for the Celtics).
Green, who is now 35-years-old, would fill a position of need for the Celtics, providing scoring and rebounding off the bench, a role he has fulfilled for the majority of his career. Currently, the 18-year veteran is playing for the Denver Nuggets, and there’s no indication they would be willing to part ways with the switchable wing, who they acquired during the 2021 free-agency period.
The other name on Scotto’s report was Jalen Smith, a center who Celtics fans recently saw in action when Boston defeated the Phoenix Suns on New Year's Eve. Smith came into the NBA with the reputation of a floor-spacing big who can rebound and rim-run but has seldom shown those skills on an NBA floor. But keep this in mind:
Something to remember on Jalen Smith trade rumors: Because Phoenix declined their rookie scale TO for Smith for 22-23, either the Suns or any acquiring team can only pay him a starting salary of $4.7M this summer. That has to factor into any sort of trade discussions.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 12, 2022
There’s also the question of where Smith would fit on the current Celtics roster. Robert Williams and Al Horford are Ime Udoka’s preferred pairing at the four and five, while Grant Williams has forced himself into a consistent rotation spot and Enes Freedom has provided a bigger body when match ups have called for it. Smith could potentially join as Boston’s fifth-string center and would find minutes hard to come by, which is a similar issue to what he’s currently facing in Phoenix.
Of course, these are just rumors at the moment, and anything can happen between now and the trade deadline, but if we know Brad Stevens, he’s going to focus on hitting singles and wait for the right time to swing for a home run!