Celtics Trade Targets with 2023 Trade Deadline 2 Months Away

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVDecember 8, 2022

Celtics Trade Targets with 2023 Trade Deadline 2 Months Away

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 12: Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns. looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 12, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    The farther the Boston Celtics travel into the 2022-23 NBA season, the more they cement themselves as the campaign's strongest club.

    On Wednesday, they visited the Phoenix Suns, the Western Conference's No. 2 seed, and promptly dealt the home team a 27-point defeat. It was Boston's 17th win in its last 19 games.

    Oh, and defensive anchor Robert Williams III hasn't even debuted yet, as he's still working his way back from offseason knee surgery.

    The Shamrocks are scarily good and might only get better from here. If they want to sit out the upcoming trade season, they absolutely can.

    Given the razor-thin margin for error when contending for the crown, though, the front office might be searching for upgrades. If the Celtics opt for external assistance, the following three players are worth a look.

Bismack Biyombo, Phoenix Suns

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    DALLAS, TEXAS - DECEMBER 05: Bismack Biyombo #18 of the Phoenix Suns stands on the court during an NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on December 05, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
    Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

    Should the Celtics travel to the trade market, adding a center seems like the most obvious move. They could use more depth on the interior, and that will remain the case even Williams returns.

    The Shamrocks are so loaded they wouldn't need much from a new big. Supplying size, rebounding and a paint presence on defense might do the trick.

    In other words, Bismack Biyombo could easily be up for the challenge.

    The 30-year-old is logging a career-low 11.8 minutes per night while being squeezed by a deep center group in Phoenix. His per-minute production, though, is right in line with his career marks. His per-36-minutes averages include 10 rebounds and 4.2 blocks, per Basketball-Reference.

Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns

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    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 10: Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns moves the ball up court against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 10, 2022 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

    Speaking of prospective targets on the Suns, can someone please get Jae Crowder out of Phoenix and back onto the NBA hardwood already?

    The veteran swingman has been sitting out since training camp while awaiting his ticket out of town. It could be savvy business strategy for Boston to make an offer.

    For starters, the Celtics could use another two-way forward behind—or alongside—Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Crowder, who spent two plus-seasons in Boston before being included in the 2017 Kyrie Irving trade, could be an easy fit for his old franchise as a versatile defender and capable three-point shooter (career 34.6 percent).

    The added bonus of a Crowder deal, though, would be Boston keeping his talent, toughness and experience away from its competitors.

    Virtually every win-now shopper has seemingly been connected to the 32-year-old, and the Celtics could stay a step ahead of everyone else by winning this chase.

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 9: Jakob Poeltl #25 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 9, 2022 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photos by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)
    Photos by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

    If the Celtics are at all concerned about Williams' ability to stay healthy—this is not his first bout with the injury bug—or simply crave another impact big man, then a Jakob Poeltl pursuit could be in the cards.

    The Austrian might be the best center on the market. (If the Indiana Pacers' strong start has taken Myles Turner off the trade block, then that "might be" qualifier isn't necessary.)

    Poeltl is a no-frills, all-function 5. He is an elite paint protector, and he's nimble enough to handle perimeter switches. He's an increasingly effective presence on the glass. On offense, he's a steady scoring source around the basket and a clever passer, particularly for his size (7'1", 245 lbs).

    With his 27th birthday behind him and a trip to 2023 unrestricted free agency in front, he doesn't seem like a keeper for the rebuilding Spurs. He'd be a valuable contributor for a win-now club, though.

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