The first blockbuster major deal of the trade season went down Monday night with the Detroit Pistons agreeing to terms on a six-player deal headlined by Blake Griffin going to Detroit. Ex-Celtic Avery Bradley was among those players moved from Detroit to the Los Angeles Clippers where he will reunite with his coach in Boston, Doc Rivers.
The Boston Celtics are among the teams particularly interested in this trade for a couple of different reasons.
MORE CELTICS - C's confidence is an encouraging sign
For starters, Boston is owed a 2019 first-round pick from the Clippers, a pick that’s lottery-protected (top-14). If the pick isn’t conveyed in 2019, Boston will then be owed the Clippers’ 2020 first-round pick that’s also lottery (top-14) protected.
If the pick isn’t sent Boston’s way by 2020, it’s converted to a second-round pick in 2022.
While the Clippers add quality depth with a pair of starters (Bradley and Tobias Harris from Detroit), they will be hard-pressed to remain anything more than a team fighting for one of the last playoff spots.
Which brings me back to that first-round pick the Clippers owe the Celtics.
If the Clippers believe this trade will keep them relevant as a playoff team, they may be inclined to try and re-claim the pick they owe the Celtics and use it to help add depth to their roster.
And the cost?
It would have to be a package (Marcus Smart? Terry Rozier?) that brings Lou Williams to Boston.
MORE FROM NBCSPORTSBOSTON.COM - Super Bowl LII prop bets: Across all sports
Williams, who is having a career season and is on the short list of Sixth Man of the Year candidates, is averaging a career-best 23.5 points per game and would address the Celtics’ biggest need – another big-time scorer besides Kyrie Irving.
And with Bradley’s arrival and ability to play both ends of the floor, the Clippers might be more inclined to part ways with Williams who will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, if they can get their first-round pick back and add a young prospect like Smart or Rozier to the fold.