Celtics News & Rumors: Romeo Langford’s rise; Jusuf Nurkic trade buzz

Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With the Boston Celtics floating in mediocracy and inconsistency, one of the bright spots through the early part of the 2021-22 NBA season has been the play of third-year wing Romeo Langford.

The 2018 first-round pick out of the University of Indiana has been sort of a forgotten man through his first two seasons in the NBA, mostly because of his lack of time on the court.  He is also one of the team’s more intriguing young players because of the talent he possesses on both ends of the court.

Finally healthy, he is giving the team glimpses of the player he can be.  He is averaging just 5.0 points per game and 3.2 rebounds, but he plays big and has secured his role on the second unit due to his improved shooting efficiency and his effort and physicality mostly on the defensive end of the court.

Boston Celtics wing Romeo Langford is confident and playing big

At 6-foot-5, 216 pounds, Langford plays much bigger, just like Marcus Smart and Grant Williams, he brings the energy and is producing in the minutes he has been given by Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.

Much of that is due to Udoka’s confidence in him, and most importantly, Langford’s confidence in himself.

"“I’m a lot more confident now,” Langford said following practice Wednesday, as transcribed by Celtics.com.  “I felt like when I first got drafted, I was still rehabbing from my surgery I had after my college season so I really couldn’t do too much.  And I wasn’t in the best shape coming into [the NBA, but I feel like now, especially this past summer working with the strength and training guys helped get my body back to normal and more comfortable and more just be able to move freely out there.”"

While the defensive effort has helped the Boston Celtics off the bench, his ability to knock down jumpers is the biggest area of growth in his third season.  Now that he is finally healthy and displaying that confidence, the Celtics are starting to see the player they drafted late in the lottery and the timing couldn’t be better for a team in search of consistency off the bench.

NBA rumors: Boston Celtics should explore a trade for Jusuf Nurkic

Langford’s growth also makes him a trade piece with the NBA Trade Deadline a couple of months away.  One team who are rumored to be exploring trades involving key pieces are the Portland Trail Blazers.

While the trade buzz has mostly surrounded All-Stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, recent rumors has suggested the Blazers have made Robert Covington and big man Jusuf Nurkic available.  Both players would be intriguing additions for the Boston Celtics, but Nurkic would provide that big man presence the team has been seeking.

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In averaging a double-double this season with 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, Nurkic would provide some toughness downlow on both ends of the court.  More importantly, he would be a consistent force.  While Al Horford and Robert Williams have been holding things down, Horford is up there in age and Williams has battled injuries throughout his early career.

Just 27 years old, the 7-foot “Bosnian Beast” would give the Boston Celtics that physicality they have been missing since the days of Aron Baynes.  The only downside is Nurkic won’t toss up many 3s, but a monster protecting the rim is what this team really needs.