Kristaps Porzingis? Jimmy Butler? 10 potential trades Boston might consider

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Kristaps Porzingis? Jimmy Butler? 10 potential trades Boston might consider

Post by bobheckler on Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:06 pm

Boston Celtics trade rumors 2017: Kristaps Porzingis? Jimmy Butler? 10 potential trades Boston might consider

Updated June 20, 2017
Posted June 20, 2017

Ten Potential Celtics Trades

The Boston Celtics have the No. 3 pick in this year's NBA Draft and a mountain of other selections in future drafts that will have a lot of value on the trade market, should the Celtics decide to sell. Let's take a look at some of the players Boston might spend picks on, and some packages that might entice Ainge to give up some of his treasure.

Two quick notes

Two things before we get started.

1.  In this post, I used the ESPN Trade Machine to make sure the deals actually work. In just about every one of them, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder are interchangeable if a team prefers one or the other. Keep in mind that teams covet Bradley, but also that Crowder might be more valuable simply because he is under a very cheap contract for longer.

2.  Any trade that actually happens would probably look a lot different. This is all just for fun. That being said, feel more than free to yell at me on Twitter.


We moved Porzingis to the top of the list because of the reports that the Knicks might be willing to move him. If the Celtics somehow wrangled Porzingis out of all of this, Ainge will have answered all of the questions about the Fultz trade just days after he made it.
Let's Trade Machine.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The "Goodness, The Knicks Are Bleak" Trade

The Package: No. 3 pick (2017), Lakers 2018 pick (protected 2-5), Memphis 2019 pick (protected through 2021), Jordan Mickey, Demetrius Jackson, James Young

The Reason: The Celtics would likely be willing to throw in more picks (although probably not the 2018 Nets pick) if necessary for Porzingis, a potential star under a rookie deal who would suddenly be under the Celtics team control for several years. It's difficult to create a package for Porzingis that involves many players, however: Porzingis' valuable deal is very cheap.

The "Maybe The Knicks Want An Actual Player?" Trade

The Package: No. 3 (2017), Lakers pick (2018), Avery Bradley

The Reason: Ainge would likely try to keep one of those picks in Boston, but here's the nice thing about the trade for Fultz: It gave the Celtics an extra (perhaps interchangeable) asset almost as valuable as the 2018 Nets pick. If the Celtics need a godfather offer for Porzingis, they can make it without clearing the cupboards.

The "Phil Jackson Is The Knicks' GM" Trade

The Package: No. 3 pick (2017), Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey, James Young

The Reason: *shrug emoji* Jackson seems determined to ruin every Knicks fans' day.


Paul George deals are complicated because 1) he only has one year left on his deal, 2) he pretty clearly has interest in playing for the Lakers, 3) a lot of people are still a little unsure exactly what level of superstar he is, and 4) if you acquire him for a bargain and he re-signs, it becomes one of the biggest heists in recent memory.

I wouldn't expect the Celtics to overpay, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they offered some real value.
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

The "So You Want Two Picks And A Starter?" Trade

The Package: Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller, Memphis pick (2019, protected until 2021), Celtics own pick (2018), Clippers pick (2019, lottery protected)

The Reason: This seems like a big underpay, but the Celtics aren't going to be willing to deal the No. 3 pick, the 2018 Brooklyn pick or the 2018 Lakers pick without some form of assurance that George would stay (which I don't think George will give). I also don't think the Celtics would offer Crowder here.

Why would Indiana do this? Because those three picks are all first-rounders (although admittedly not particularly high ones), and it doesn't seem likely that anyone else will offer three first rounders in any slot for George.
I would expect that this deal would only happen if the Celtics had their eyes on another.

The "So You Want Two Starters And A Pick?" Trade

The Package: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Clippers pick (2019)

The Reason: Indiana gets a pair of solid players who can help them contend for a playoff slot, as well as a first-round pick. Still, I doubt either team does this one. George trades are very difficult.

The "Holy Crap, Paul George Says He'll Re-Sign In Boston" Trade

The Package: No. 3 pick, Memphis pick (2019, protected until 2021), Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller

The Reason: George is a star and would make the Celtics more dangerous against both the Cavaliers and Warriors, but acquiring him doesn't turn the Celtics into an automatic contender. Given Indiana's lack of leverage, it's unlikely George would command more than one of the Celtics' Big Three draft assets (2017 and 2018 Nets picks, 2018 Lakers).

Still, the very unlikely scenario in which he offers the Celtics a commitment to re-sign would warrant at least one.


Jimmy Butler has been the star most consistently linked to the Celtics in trade rumors. Like George, he is complicated because he doesn't automatically turn the Celtics into a contender, but he commands more value than George because he is under a team-friendly max for longer.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The "We're Pretty Sure Gordon Hayward Is Coming" Trade

The Package: No. 3 pick (2017), Lakers pick (2018), Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey

The Reason: This deal clears some cap space for the Celtics in preparation for future moves while also adding Butler. Meanwhile, the Bulls get two excellent draft assets as well as Bradley — a player they can safely re-sign into their suddenly open books.

The "We Think Our Current Roster Is One Piece Away" Trade

The Package: No. 3 pick, Nets pick (2018), Jaylen Brown, Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey.

The Reason: The Celtics give away a bunch of excellent young assets while maintaining last year's starting lineup. Jae Crowder immediately slots up to power forward while the Celtics put four incredible defenders around Isaiah Thomas.

That team probably doesn't beat the Warriors, but Golden State would come out of a seven-game series bruised and battered.

The "Let's Blow The Internet Sky-High" Trade

The Package: Nets pick (2018), Isaiah Thomas, Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson, Jordan Mickey.

The Reason: Hoooo boy.

In this deal, the Celtics only send out one of the Big Three Assets out (perhaps prepping them for another big deal). They also cause maximum chaos by sending out their best player to a Bulls team that reportedly wanted veteran players that could help them compete in exchange for Butler.

But this deal does make some sense for both teams — Chicago gets an All-NBA guard while picking up a hugely valuable asset. The Celtics, meanwhile, get Butler and dodge the awkward "Do we pay Isaiah a Brinks truck?" question.

That said: This one isn't happening.


Davis is a generational talent and almost certainly unavailable. If the Celtics have any chance whatsoever of landing him, they will likely need to pay out of their ears, which is in part why it seems so unlikely that they will land him this summer.

Still, let's pretend Davis asks for a trade.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The "Cash In The Chips" Trade

The Package: No. 3 (2017), Brooklyn pick (2018), Lakers pick (2018), Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson

The Reason: Again, these trades are going to be spendy. Don't expect any kind of a discount, even if real rumors do start to swirl about Davis. That's part of the reason it seems so unlikely — the Pelicans have no reason to trade Davis, and the Celtics would be understandably hesitant to part with that many assets (even for a generational talent). Injuries happen, and a deal like this would leave the Celtics without much of a contingency plan.

The "Every Brooklyn Nets Pick" Trade

The Package: James Young, Jaylen Brown, No. 3 (2017), Nets pick (2018), Tyler Zeller, Jae Crowder

The Reason: The Celtics can't actually trade James Young, so this deal is just for fun. But it's worth noting that simply handing another team the Nets package for Pierce and Garnett (plus salary filler) still has pretty hefty trade value.


So what if the Celtics could lace a couple of these deals together? Glad you asked!
Anthony Davis is not included here because the assets he would require would preclude a second trade.
AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh

Porzingis + Butler

For Jimmy Butler: Bulls get Bradley, Zeller, Jackson, Nets pick (2018), Lakers pick (2018).

For Kristaps Porzingis: Knicks get No. 3 pick (2017), Memphis pick (2019), Jaylen Brown.

The Starters: Isaiah Thomas, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder, Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford.

Would They Contend? Maybe. That team is big, deep and scary. Both Porzingis and Horford can stretch the floor as bigs, and the Butler/Crowder/Porzingis/Horford combination would be super switchable defensively and might make up for Thomas' defensive problems. Plus, when necessary, the Celtics could switch Thomas out for Smart in lineups and still score seemingly at will.

Porzingis + George

For Paul George: Lakers pick (2018), Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller

For Kristaps Porzingis: No. 3 pick (2017), Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson

The Starters: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Paul George, Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford
Would They Contend? This isn't as perfect a fit because it likely means the Celtics will need to send someone to the bench (in this case, it's Crowder because he struggles to guard quicker players).

But the Celtics still retain one of the Big Three Assets in this deal, which is crazy to imagine (we are assuming the Celtics would trade for George without a guarantee just because the starting lineup here is so good it would be difficult to leave).

Butler + George

For Jimmy Butler: No. 3 (2017), Lakers pick (2018), Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller

For Paul George: Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart

The Starters: Isaiah Thomas, Terry Rozier, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Al Horford

Would They Contend? Probably not (adios to ALL of the depth), and George might not re-sign if the Celtics play him at power forward. The Celtics are very good here and they still have one Big Three Asset, but better options seemingly exist.
This particular combination doesn't feel very likely.

MY NOTE:  I think he is significantly underestimating what it will take to get Porzingis.  Furthermore every combo deal, except for the ones including Porzingis, still leave us needing a starting power forward.

Get Porzingis anyway we can.  That solves our rim protection problem.  It enhances our floor spacing.  It helps our rebounding.  He also replaces 30 year old Amir Johnson.  That's a lot of help in one fell swoop.  Then, sign Hayward.  Now we have an All-Star SF and can afford to give up Crowder.  We've just upgraded our starting PF position significantly as well as upgrading our starting SF position.

If the purpose of draft picks is to give the team an infusion of young talent then Porzingis fits the bill perfectly.  He is the reason why teams tank, just like they tanked for Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns.  Davis and Towns were just more obvious on draft day.


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Re: Kristaps Porzingis? Jimmy Butler? 10 potential trades Boston might consider

Post by gyso on Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:17 pm


He also fails in the Porzingis trades when he fails to include Carmelo Anthony in any scenario.



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Re: Kristaps Porzingis? Jimmy Butler? 10 potential trades Boston might consider

Post by red16russ11 on Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:18 pm

Jordan Schultz‏: League sources say Phil Jackson wants to dump Joakim Noah’s contract as part of a #Porzingis trade. Unclear if it’s a deal-breaker. #Knicks – via Twitter
Phil Jackson, Trade, Joakim Noah, Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

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Re: Kristaps Porzingis? Jimmy Butler? 10 potential trades Boston might consider

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