Back by the popular demand of pretty much only myself, it’s the second annual edition of Around the NBA in 15 Trades. We’re taking all 30 teams in the lead up to the Feb. 7 trade deadline and finding a happy middle ground for prosperous barterdom.
Last year, Boston looked like they’d be among the best teams in the league for the next decade. Though this season’s been more of a challenge than most expected. The problem could be that they have too much of a good thing with their glut of backcourt options.
There just aren’t enough minutes to go around for guys clearly deserving and it’s thrown off their equilibrium. Jaylen Brown took a step back and Terry Rozier no longer has the Scary Terry mojo.
Orlando’s still entrenched in the rebuild of the Dwight Howard fallout. While they’re putting foundational pieces down, they’re a team that doesn’t make much sense yet. Counter to the Celtics, the Magic need to alleviate a logjam in the frontcourt. Sounds like the perfect swapsies partners to me.
PF, Aaron Gordon; C, Nikola Vucevic; PG, D.J. Augustin
G/F, Gordon Hayward; PG, Terry Rozier; F, Marcus Morris; C, Robert Williams; Clippers 2019 First Round pick
Why the Celtics do it:
The return of Gordon Hayward hasn’t gone as seamlessly as planned. His monster contract looks more like a monstrosity by the day. With more time, he should get back to the swing of things. There’s also a chance it turns into a full-blown anchor for the Celtics and bogs down their cap space. It’d be far less risky to not take the chance on him at all.
Boston needs rebounding. They currently rank a non-remarkable 17th in rebounds per game, something Nikola Vucevic would single-handedly boost by himself. Aaron Gordon would give the Celtics a whole new dimension of player to work with.
Gordon’s numbers slid a little this season, but his fit in Orlando’s never been tailor made. Getting saddled with subpar point guards surely didn’t help matters either. Gordon’s still only 23-years old and has all the tools to burst into stardom, he just needs to find the right situation. He’s no longer cheap, but his freshly-inked extension actually scales downward over the next three years.
Why the Magic do it:
While the Magic try to change the culture, they’ve had trouble getting big names to sign or even consider them. Hayward’s star faded since his gruesome injury at the inception of last season, but injuries of that magnitude need mental rehab in addition to the physical. He should regain his old form as more time passes and would be a great fit alongside their pair of long, stretchy big men.
Rozier’s found himself in a reduced role after his breakout last season and is (understandably) frustrated. He’s shown the capability of a starter and getting granted a leading role should juice him back up.
Also, two words: Time Lord.