Ranking Celtics' Top Trade Priorities Entering 2023December 29, 2022
Ranking Celtics' Top Trade Priorities Entering 2023
Anyone run into trouble lately trying to find a gift for the friend or relative who already has everything?
Yeah, that's kind of how it feels to draft up a wish list for the Boston Celtics.
No team has looked better at the start of the 2022-23 NBA season. They aren't quite unbeatable, but they arguably have the Association's most complete roster.
If the front office wants to get nitpicky, though, there are a few areas this team could shore up between now and the trade deadline. The following three—ranked by importance—should command the most attention.
The Celtics aren't the biggest team you'll find. Among rotation regulars, only backup big man Luke Kornet is listed as taller than 6'9".
Oh, and that label might be underselling Kornet's actual role. He seems unlikely to stick in the postseason rotation beyond serving as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option.
This lack of size might explain why this group often struggles on the glass. The Shamrocks have only collected 49.7 percent of available boards, slotting them 17th in rebounding percentage, per NBA.com.
A defensive-minded glass-cleaner who isn't a complete nothing on defense could step into a supporting role and start turning this weak spot around.
2. Three-and-D Wing
You might be thinking, wait, doesn't Boston have perhaps the league's top tandem of two-way wings?
Absolutely. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are exactly the type of perimeter players modern teams want to build around.
The issue, though, is what's behind them—or what isn't, rather. Beyond the Jays, there isn't another two-way wing on the roster.
Sam Hauser has been a helpful shooter, but he might be too vulnerable on defense to see the floor come playoff time. The Celtics need his outside stroke, but what they really need is someone who can provide that spacing and isn't a liability at the opposite end. That player type isn't cheap on the trade market, but Boston could deem the need great enough to part with a relatively valuable asset.
1. Backup Big (Who Can Shoot)
If the Celtics add a player through the trade market—which is far from guaranteed—it seems likely it would be a big man.
The rebounding woes have already been discussed here, and they aren't the only thing this club could clean up with its center rotation.
A floor-spacing big would give the offense more breathing room. Boston has one in Al Horford, but it might want to carefully track his floor time since he'll turn 37 in June. The Celtics sort of have another in Grant Williams, but the 6'6", 236-pounder doesn't have a ton of size or athleticism.
Boston won't break the bank to address this need or any other, because this roster hardly needs any help. However, a solid reserve center with range, like the Orlando Magic's Mo Bamba for instance, could become a nightly regular and maintain that role come playoff time.