As the NBA trade deadline nears, just about every team in the league is looking to strike a deal in the next few weeks. While some are buyers and others are sellers, there is no shortage of options for teams looking to change their roster.
Among a hay-stack of rumors and whispers, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley offered an especially interesting three-team deal that would involve sending Andre Drummond to Boston, Gordon Hayward to Dallas, and Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and a 2020 second-round pick to Detroit.
For the Celtics, they add size, rebounding, and rim protection to compete with other elites.
Size still matters in this league. Boston’s road map out of the East might include playoff tussles with Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, Marc Gasol, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. A championship-round date with the Los Angeles Lakers would plant Anthony Davis as an obstacle to any parade route.
The Celtics don’t have an answer now, but this deal would do the trick.
In Dallas, the addition of Hayward could help spread the floor and relieve pressure from the main stars.
Dallas doesn’t have a championship recipe now, but it might be one ingredient away. A healthy Hayward could be the missing piece. Plug him alongside Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas could dismantle defenses with any variation of the two-man game or watch any of the three dazzle as an isolation creator or spot-up sniper.
The Pistons get an escape from Drummond’s $28.8 million contract and get quality, starting veterans in return.
Detroit, meanwhile, could decide that escaping the possibility of Drummond picking up his $28.8 million player option is the best outcome of any exchange involving the center. Since no one is offering a first-round pick, per The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III, this could be as good as it gets.
All three teams get to check the boxes of their own goals for this season. And while all three are on different playing fields, it might just take a single trade to revitalize the franchise for years to come.