The NBA trade deadline is just around the corner and trade rumors are heating up. The Celtics are sitting pretty at the top of the standings. So should they stand pat or push in to make a trade? I’ll kick things off in this discussion with my view of the arguments for each path.
If it ain’t broke... don’t make a trade to try to fix it. The roster as it stands is performing beautifully and there’s a lot of cohesion on both offense and defense at the moment. There are real dangers to messing with the chemistry of a team that’s rolling along. You wouldn’t want to remove a popular player or add in a player that could mess with the team’s current vibes.
In addition, the roster has built in depth at the guard position. Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon tend to miss time with various injuries and having someone like Payton Pritchard around to spot fill minutes is a wonderful luxury to have.
There might have been more incentive to add a backup big man when Robert Williams was out, but he’s back now and Luke Kornet has proven that he’s a viable rotation player when called upon.
This team looks like they are headed for a very high seed (if not #1 overall) and once the playoffs start the rotations will be limited. So unless the player coming in is good enough to bump someone from the top of the rotation, they won’t be playing in the postseason anyway.
Make a Trade:
The window is open now, so do everything you can to maximize that opportunity. Don’t rest on the laurels of past performance. Focus on what you need to win 4 playoff series in a row.
We thought the Celtics had enough guards, but Brad Stevens knew that we needed another playmaker so he went out and added Malcolm Brogdon. Just because we think we are good at center doesn’t mean he won’t add another big man.
Also, we need to give some of the stars some more rest. Jayson Tatum in particular is carrying a heavy minutes load. Perhaps in part because the team doesn’t have a lot of great options behind him on the wing. Sam Hauser has been ice cold lately and Justin Jackson is basically a 14th or 15th man. The Celtics could use a defensive minded wing to eat up some minutes and keep Tatum fresh for the playoffs.
Besides, with most of the roster locked up to contracts going forward, there may not be much room for a rookie to grow in this environment. So moving a pick for a win-now player might be the best use of that asset.
Where do you stand on this debate? Putting aside the obvious caveat that “it depends on the deal.” We’ll get into more specific debates in the coming weeks. (Don’t you worry about that)