With the NBA Trade Deadline approaching, the Boston Celtics could be in position to go after Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic.
As deep and talented as the Boston Celtics are, the one glaring weakness is a big man who can rebound, protect the rim and score.
The Celtics have been able to get by with Al Horford, Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis, but injuries to both Horford and Baynes has further proved the team could use the type of big man who can do multiple things on the court.
One player who comes to mind is Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic. In an All-Star type season, Vucevic is averaging 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game on a team that is falling fast in the playoff standings.
According to Cordell Long of CBS Sports, the Magic will have all the motivation in the world to move Nikola Vucevic by the trade deadline.
The team is stocked when it comes to young front court players. Combine that with the fact that Vucevic is on the last year of his contract and the scoring big man is right for the taking.
That’s where the Boston Celtics come in. Not only do they have a stockpile of trade picks they can offer, they could also dangle Terry Rozier. A Nikola Vucevic for Terry Rozier trade makes all the sense in the world for both teams. The Celtics get their big man and the Magic get a starting point guard who could flourish in Orlando.
As the Celtics have expressed interest in Vucevic before, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has t be intrigued by the possibility despite admitting how difficult it will be to move players.
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“We’re always looking to upgrade our team if those opportunities present themselves. But I think that’s going to be tough,” Ainge said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “As far as trading players, I don’t really see much out there. We have a lot of good ones. It’s hard to get better players than we have.”
The exception would be Nikola Vucevic. Even with Aron Baynes and Robert Williams eventually returning from their prospective injuries, the need for a big man who can stretch the floor like Vucevic is glaring at times. Sure, Baynes and Williams can protect the rim and rebound, but both of them are offensive liabilities when they are on the court.
Vucevic would put Boston over the top
With the way Vucevic could score, his presence on the court and on the roster would put the Boston Celtics over the top in the Eastern Conference. If you think about the teams currently at the top of the conference, each of them have big men who create problems for the Celtics.
In adding a player like Vucevic, it will make the Celtics an even tougher team to defend. Imagine Al Horford and Vucevic on the floor together. The space they could create for Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum to do their thing in the lane would be fascinating.
Although he would take minutes from Theis and Williams, the depth his addition creates in the front court allows from Brad Stevens to do many things both defensively and offensively. It allows for Aron Baynes, Theis and Williams to be more physical when in the game and takes pressure off Al Horford, who may need to take games off to rest a nagging knee.
Now, if I’m Danny Ainge I’m not over extending for a player like Vucevic who a half season rental could just be, but if the Orland Magic call with a fair offer that does not involve Jaylen Brown, I would pull the trigger. His rebounding and the way he can score around the basket actually makes it a no-brainer.