All week, my peeps here at CSN came up with a variety of trade scenarios that would potentially land the Celtics that coveted “superstar” that fans have constantly said they need.
Well, a couple of things became abundantly clear in this little social experiment of ours.
Finding consensus on who that star player should be, while putting together a package that made sense for both sides, is A LOT easier said than done.
I hear folks complain all the time about why Danny Ainge didn’t go get (pick a player who is really good), while not really thinking much about how much it would cost Boston in terms of players and picks.
WHO'D SAY NO?
- First potential trade: New Orleans' Anthony Davis
- Second potential trade: Indiana's Paul George
- Third potential trade: Golden State's Klay Thompson
- Fourth potential trade: New York's Kristaps Porzingis
- Fifth potential trade: Three-way with Kings and 76ers for Okafor, Saric and two picks
While the pursuit of a superstar player hasn’t gone as well as folks would like, Ainge has shown an ability to acquire lots of assets that have shown promise in time.
So rather than spend today looking at more ways Boston can add that “superstar” player, my CSN colleagues have taken a previous trade scenario put out there by Bill Simmons, and tweaked it to come up with a way for Boston to do what Ainge does and that’s collect assets (and a couple of nice throw-in players along the way).
Sixers 2017 pick (3rd overall)
Lakers 2018 pick (now owned by Philadelphia)
2017 Number 1 Pick
OK, let’s pause right there.
If I’m the Celtics, I’m all over this deal. You add proven talent up front with Saric and Okafor, a nice young piece with the No. 3 pick and a future asset that will likely be a lottery selection.
But if I’m Philly . . . there’s no way in hell I would even consider doing this deal. As good as Markelle Fultz will be someday and as valuable as I believe Crowder is to winning games, the Sixers would be giving up way too much in this deal. Saric will be a top-3 vote-getter in the rookie of the Year race this season. And with Joel Embiid’s far-from-certain health status, there’s no way the Sixers would part with the one healthy big man they have who produces consistently. Okafor would be a nice addition, but he would definitely have to be part of a bigger trade package if it means parting ways with the top overall pick in this year’s draft.
Like I said, my biggest issue with this deal is has no chance of getting serious consideration by Philly because, 1) the chances of it working out for Philly are slim to none, and 2) it’s just not sellable to their fans who, frankly, deserve better than the way this organization has taken them and their loyalty for granted in recent years with their Tank-a-pa-looza approach to team building.
So after totally dumping on that scenario, I’m told that was just the first part of a bigger trade that would then rope in another struggling NBA team, the Sacramento Kings.
2017 No. 5 and 10 picks from Sacramento
2017 3 pick
So according to these two trades, the Celtics would wind up with the following . . .
2017 No. 5 pick (Josh Jackson?)
2017 No. 10 pick (Dennis Smith?)
2018 Lakers pick
For . . .
2017 first round pick
Okay, I love the creativity of this trade. And, if you think about it, its kind of what you expect Danny Ainge to pull off.
But just like my response to the first part of this trade, I don’t think the teams Boston would be dealing with are getting enough in return.
I already addressed how I see the Sixers totally getting screwed in such a deal. And the Kings don’t make out any better. For them to give up a pair of lottery picks to move up to the No. 3 spot, I just don’t see that happening unless they become absolutely convinced that Josh Jackson of Kansas, D’Aaron Fox of Kentucky or Jayson Tatum of Duke is a must-have addition for them out of this draft.
But at least one of those guys will be available for the taking at No. 5. Do the Kings roll the dice and hope their guy is there (if it’s Jackson they can forget about it), or trade up for the guy they want? And if they trade up two spots, is that player really worth a pair of lottery picks (Nos. 5 and 10th overall this year) in a top-heavy draft like this one?
It all seems way too improbable to see coming to fruition.
But would any of us be totally shocked if Ainge pulled off such a deal?
Jahlil Okafor isn't out of the picture for the Boston Celtics.
As the days get closer to the NBA trade deadline, the Celtics are mulling a number of trade options. And the Philadelphia 76ers aren't afraid to shop Okafor, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.MORE TRADE TALK
- Lowe: Wouldn't be shocked if C's move Bradley
- Report: Ainge wouldn't trade Nets pick for Butler, would for George
- Pistons' Drummond drops Twitter hints of trade to Celtics
- List of assets the Celtics have to offer
- Report: Celts 'deeply interested' in P.J. Tucker
- Report: Boston 'expected' to talk to Dallas about Andrew Bogut
"Okafor is kind of still there," Stein said on ESPN's "Mike and Mike". "He's been so out there that you tend to think Philadelphia will find something in the next three days where they move him. I've heard that Boston has still given that some consideration. Chicago's another team that's been said to have shown some Okafor interest."
In his second season in Philadelphia, Okafor has seen a dip in his production after an impressive rookie season. His minutes have dropped from 30 to 23 per game, which explains his points falling from 17.5 to 11.4 per game and his rebounds falling from seven to 4.8 per game. He's shooting roughly the same from the field, however, and has a 51.1 field goal percentage during the 2016-17 season.
Okafor's season has taken a strange turn in recent weeks. The 6-foot-11 center did not travel with the team to face the Charlotte Bobcats on Feb. 13 amid trade interest. But Okafor then played with Philadelphia against the Boston Celtics in the ensuing game on Feb. 15.
"You can rest assured Philly's going to spend the next three-plus days trying to find a trade home for Jahlil Okafor because once the prospect of a trade has gone that far it's kind of hard to pretend it didn't happen," Stein said. "But at this point, as we stand, Philadelphia doesn't have an Okafor deal. And obviously another (option in) New Orleans, now that's not going to happen."