While the start of the season has been tough for the Boston Celtics, they are heading into the All-Star break with positive momentum. Boston has a four-game winning streak, taking its record to 19-17 on the season.
Kemba Walker is starting to find his way, which is helping to take some of the offensive pressure off Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. While that’s a nice development, the team could use an update around that core if they really want to become contenders again in the Eastern Conference.
Boston would love to acquire a player like Nikola Vucevic from the Orlando Magic. He would solve many of his problems on the front court and give the team another genuine All-Star to round out its core. They could also try to trade Zach LaVine, another Chicago Bulls All-Star.
However, rival executives do not expect that to happen. Instead, they expect the Celtics to make a smaller move to help round out their roster. Tom Haberstroh of TrueHoop gave the scoop.
“For the Celtics, a player like Sacramento backup giant Nemanja Bjelica might be a better fit,” wrote Tom Haberstroh of TrueHoop. “The 6-foot-10 Serbian would fit in very well as a great dynamic man who can shoot and move the ball. Is it Nikola Vucevic? No, but it would be much less expensive. Rival executives aren’t expecting Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to make a big change to the deadline. An Eastern Conference general manager said, “That’s not Danny’s style.” The smartest bet is that Boston makes a little move up front now that Kemba Walker is getting in shape. “
Haberstroh is correct in his assessment of Ainge. The Celtics general manager has taken responsibility for the team’s shortcomings this season and has said Boston has been close on some trades. Closing seems to always be the result when it comes to exchanging big trades, as Boston was always in the running when the star players were available through the trade, but were never able to seal the deal.
As long as Walker, Tatum and Brown do it offensively, the Celtics can be competitive in the Eastern Conference. That’s a strong trio, but they’ll need some help if they really want a chance to beat either the Philadelphia 76ers or the Brooklyn Nets when it’s playoff time comes.