The Boston Celtics are coming off a disappointing season that saw them making an early exit from the playoffs. It’s clear that a shakeup is in order, and the team has already made a move by trading Kemba Walker and draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford and Moses Brown.
A much bigger move could be in the works, as superstar point guard Damian Lillard has been rumored to want an exit from the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard has been one of the top players in basketball for the better part of the last decade in Portland.
With the Trail Blazers consistently hitting a wall in the playoffs, it makes sense for Lillard to potentially seek greener (pun intended) pastures. Should the Celtics try to make a trade for Lillard, it would certainly cost a pretty penny.
What should the Boston Celtics offer for Damian Lillard?
Jayson Tatum is untouchable, there’s no question about that. Realistically Jaylen Brown should be too, but that might end the talks before they can even begin. If the Celtics can somehow acquire Lillard without trading away Brown then it should be done at all costs.
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That’s much easier said than done, since the quality of the roster takes a significant dip once you get past Tatum and Brown. Marcus Smart would most likely be involved, and then there are some younger players with solid upside such as Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith. After that, there’s not a ton of trade value on this Boston Celtics team aside from future draft picks.
Is trading Brown away for Lillard really worth it? Brown has improved each year and he will be just 25-years-old heading into next season. Lillard will be 31 soon, with likely a couple of years left in his prime. Lillard is currently the superior player, but he is not a better long term asset than Brown at this point in their careers.
Lillard would raise the Celtics ceiling for a season or two, but that doesn’t seem worth trading away a budding superstar in his own right. If the Celtics can make it happen without trading away Tatum or Brown, then by all means they should. The issue is, the Blazers know what they have and it will probably take an overpay for them to consider moving him.
The Celtics are not at a point where they can afford to overpay for a player in his 30’s. The roster is not deep enough to be a serious threat, and swapping Brown for Lillard doesn’t solve that problem.
Barring a miracle, it might be best for the Boston Celtics to sit this one out and attempt to fix the team by some other means. As great as Damian Lillard is, it’s not worth breaking up a duo that could become one of the most fearsome in basketball in the years to come.