Celtics Linked to Surprising Young Big Man in Latest Trade Rumors

Could Isaiah Stewart be a good fit for the Celtics? The Detroit Pistons are 2-25 through 27 games and could be starting a firesale soon.

One NBA insider reports that the Boston Celtics are interested in Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart following the latest trade rumors.
One NBA insider reports that the Boston Celtics are interested in Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart following the latest trade rumors. / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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Boston Celtics fans have had very little to complain about during the 2023-24 NBA season. After all, the Celtics are 20-5 through 25 games, which ties the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record in the league. A key reason why Boston has had this success is that the franchise has one of the deeper lineups in the Association.

But what if the Celtics could improve their reinforcements?

Well, there's a good chance that Boston will attempt to bolster its frontcourt if the latest rumors out of the Motor City are anything to judge.

Celtics Trade Targets: Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons

The Athletic's James Edwards III reports that the Celtics — along with the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder — are interested in acquiring Isaiah Stewart from the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons currently sit at the bottom of the league with a 2-25 record, meaning it makes sense that the Celtics would be targeting someone like Stewart, who was selected 16th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers at the 2020 NBA Draft.

Stewart is a physical force down the middle who's enjoyed solid production across four campaigns with the Pistons. He's playing a career-high 30.3 minutes across 25 starts with Detroit this season, averaging 10.2 points and 6.8 rebounds. While he isn't necessarily known for stretching the floor, he's also tallying 1.3 threes on a personal-best 36.7% shooting.

Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford have been solid for the Celtics up the middle, but more center depth wouldn't hurt. Porzingis is known for missing time and has already missed six games this season while Horford can't be relied on to play 30 minutes every night after turning 37 back in June.

It isn't as if Neemias Queta and Luke Kornet are game-changers off the bench, either.

Stewart's presence would take a load off Porzingis and Horford's shoulders while giving the Celtics a young, physical presence in the frontcourt for a (hopefully) long playoff run. He'd also be a massive upgrade over Queta and Kornet.

Nevertheless, the financial situation could make a trade tricky. The Celtics are currently over the salary cap while Stewart carries a $5.26 million cap hit (per Spotrac) for the remainder of the season. Boston doesn't have any players who perfectly match Stewart's salary, meaning it might take moving multiple players on lower contracts to get the job done.

Still, Stewart is only 22 years old and could only get better from here. If the Celtics are confident in his potential (both in the present and long term), giving up a pair of veteran players is well worth it for a former top-10 pick — especially if he helps Boston snap its championship drought.

As it stands, the Celtics are currently DraftKings Sportsbook's favorite to win the 2023-24 NBA Finals.

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