With a 17-6 record, the Boston Celtics are doing more than keeping themselves alive in the Eastern Conference power chase. Following the departure of Kyrie Irving, the team is in the midst of a resurgence that has them squarely in the conversation for an NBA Finals appearance. Still, it seems the Celtics are still a piece away from true Championship contention.
In the West, the Denver Nuggets are facing a similar situation. Just one year removed from boasting the best regular-season record in the conference, the Nuggs still have a lot to prove before anyone considers them a real threat.
In a trade suggested by Bleacher Report‘s Andy Bailey, both teams could receive mutual compensation from each other ahead of February's trade deadline.
The Deal: Mason Plumlee, Gary Harris and a first-round pick for Gordon Hayward
The Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets are both playing well. Boston was stellar with Hayward in the lineup before he broke his hand. The Nuggets have been a solid plus-3.0 points per 100 possessions with Plumlee and Harris on the floor over the years.
But Denver is ripe for a consolidation trade, and the Celtics could use a little depth behind a starting lineup that has recently stabilized without Hayward. (Boston is plus-23.6 points per 100 possessions when Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on the floor over the last two weeks.)
There is no doubt that Gordon Hayward can still produce, depsite suffering two major injuries in the past few seasons. He'd be an awesome addition next to a loaded Denver squad and would help give them a boost on both ends of the floor.
The Celtics, meanwhile, get some depth in both the front and backcourt in Harris and Plumlee.
It's not guaruntee, but definitely something both teams could consider to maximize their chances this season.