NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics Go Shopping

boston celtics rumors

The Boston Celtics have seen the first half of their season hovering around the .500 mark, so it’s no surprise they’re scanning the trade market. With a formidable “Big 3” of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker, the C’s look to improve their title chances.

Boston Celtics Top Targets

Jerami Grant

One of the targets the Celtics are eyeing is Jerami Grant, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Grant, who left the successful Denver Nuggets in the offseason, is having a breakout season with the Detroit Pistons. As the frontrunner to win the Most Improved Player of the Year award, he is averaging 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.

A Jerami Grant trade would be crucial for the Celtics. However, Detroit doesn’t seem to be interested in trading Grant who has turned into a young building block for them. Regardless, getting Grant and trying to hold onto your key pieces would be a steep price for the Celtics. The pool of draft picks the Celtics collected over the years has run out. This would force them to potentially trade key players such as Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker. Unless they trade some of their Big 3, it would be expensive to get Jerami Grant and difficult to outbid other teams.

Nikola Vucevic

The All-Star center from the Orlando Magic is averaging 24.6 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1 block per game.

However, the Celtics are not alone in their pursuit for him, as the Hornets have also expressed interest. Just like with Grant, the Celtics lack the necessary draft assets to package a better deal than the Hornets, unless they trade key pieces. This deal would be “massive” according to Charania if it goes through.

Nemanja Bjelica

A sleeper name the Celtics are also eyeing is Sacramento Kings Nemanja Bjelica. Averaging 8.3 points, Bjelica is a long-range sharpshooter that every team needs. The Celtics, however, aren’t alone in this chase as well, as they have to outbid the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Golden State Warriors.

Boston Celtics Trade Overview

All three players satisfy GM Danny Ainge’s need for “shooting with size“. At 6’8, Jerami Grant and Nemanja Bjelica have career marks of 35% and 39% respectively, while 6’11 Nikola Vucevic hits his at a career 35.2% clip.

Nikola Vucevic and Jerami Grant are unlikely to be traded to the Celtics. With the Magic holding out, Vucevic will be difficult to attain without giving up too much. Grant remains a crucial cornerstone for the rebuilding Pistons franchise who would ask for a Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown swap. Somehow getting Grant would fill the void left by Gordon Hayward’s departure in the offseason to the Hornets.

Nemanja Bjelica is the most attainable player. With a $7.15 million salary, he could fit under their $28.5 million traded player exception while adding a decent player. His season mark of 31% from 3-point range may not be exciting but has shot above 40% the past three seasons.

The March 25 trade deadline is less than a month away, putting some pressure on Ainge to turn a .500 team into a bonafide title contender.

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