The Boston Celtics are in 4th place in the Eastern Conference: they aren't the contenders they were expected to be at this moment, with a 10-8 record. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both playing at a high level, as was Marcus Smart before his calf injury. But the Celtics need to get better. They have the foundation to build a contender, and with time, they could be one.
One of the ways that Danny Ainge could make the team better is via trade. There are a few players that they could target via trade. They could use an experienced All-Star who can play as part of a system, and some consistent scoring to supplement the bench. The Boston Celtics could make two blockbuster trades in order to create an elite starting lineup. The two teams that they would potentially trade with are the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic. The players that they would target would be Derrick Rose on the Pistons, then Nikola Vucevic, and Aaron Gordon on the Magic.
Derrick Rose Would Bring Consistent Scoring
Boston Celtics Receive: Derrick Rose
Detroit Pistons Receive: Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, a future first-round pick
Derrick Rose is a prime candidate for a trade. Rose is still a capable offensive player who can drive to the rim and score, but also set up his teammates and run an offense. During the last few years of his career, Rose has re-invented himself in a scoring sixth man role. Rose can still play good minutes for a team and be an elite player in late-game situations. He could be perfect for a contender like the Celtics, especially as a supplementary player. No-one expects him to carry the load as he did in his Chicago Bulls days, but he could still be a quality offensive player and create his own shot, whether as a bench player or as a starter.
The Detroit Pistons would get some solid young prospects with this trade. Aaron Nesmith was an absolute sniper from the 3PT line in college, but he is never going to get the opportunities to fully develop on a deep team like the Boston Celtics. Payton Pritchard is a solid shooting guard who shoots 42.5% from 3PT range and has very good fundamentals: he plays the game the right way and knows his role. Both of these players would get solid opportunities on the Pistons. The future first-round pick would likely be good if the Celtics are contenders, but the Pistons could still draft a solid player towards the end of the first round. This deal would provide great future assets for the Pistons in return for a win-now veteran for the Celtics.
Aaron Gordon And Nikola Vucevic Would Make The Celtics Top Tier
Boston Celtics Receive: Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon
Orlando Magic Receive: Kemba Walker, Romeo Langford, Daniel Theis, Grant Williams, a future first-round pick, a future second-round pick
Derrick Rose is a great player: but he wouldn't move the needle much, especially not against top-tier teams in the Eastern Conference like the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams are loaded with star power, and both teams have MVP candidates. While the Boston Celtics have two promising stars, they could use another star to put them in the same tier as the top contenders in the league.
The Boston Celtics trading for Nikola Vucevic would help the Boston Celtics get another All-Star caliber player on the roster, as well as having an experienced center who can take on some of the offensive load. Nikola Vucevic is currently averaging 22.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG while shooting an elite 44.1% from beyond the arc. While his statistics haven't resulted in wins, it is clear that he would be a good fit on a contender due to his all-around game. He has some underrated creativity as a passer, which could be an important skill for a contending team.
Aaron Gordon would be an interesting player who would mainly be a floor spacer and defender. Gordon's a switchable player who can guard most positions, and having both him and Vucevic in the starting lineup would give the Celtics amazing spacing. Gordon can still provide some scoring if necessary, but his role in the offense would be complementary and he would be the player focused on rebounding and guarding one of the opponent's best players. Both Gordon and Vucevic could be a good fit next to some scoring superstars, and having optimal spacing could open up more driving lanes for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
On the Orlando Magic end, it is mostly about getting young players for the future. The Boston Celtics would send out Kemba Walker for contract purposes: he also has the potential to bounce back to All-Star form, which is why Walker could be an appealing asset. Romeo Langford is a promising wing who could get more time on the Orlando Magic. Grant Williams is a switchable defender who could develop offensively if given more touches. Daniel Theis would be an okay player to fill up the center rotation minutes. The picks would be good assets for the future. Orlando should focus on developing young talent like Mo Bamba and Cole Anthony. Without Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, their season is likely done, and they should regroup next year.
This could be a solid trade for the Boston Celtics as it would get them a starting lineup that is elite and could compete with the titans in the Eastern Conference. Building a superteam is one way to win a championship, and these two blockbuster trade packages could let the Boston Celtics do that.