The Boston Celtics are widely criticized for not being able to pull of a blockbuster deal on NBA trade deadline last Thursday with new reports coming in that the Beantown team targeted a trio of superstars from rival East teams.
However, even with no clear details on what Boston was willing to give up, some also have lauded the Danny Ainge, the Celtics general manager for being patient with his current roster and sticking with his core with hopes of finding even better deals in the future.
One confirmed report is that the Celtics aimed at acquiring Philadelphia 76ers prized big man Jahlil Okafor, who is one of top candidates for the NBA Rookie of the Year award this season.The Celtics allegedly tried to land two other stars, in Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love and Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford.
According to the Boston Herald, as per league sources, Ainge’s trade deadline target was Okafor although the Celtics GM has been “silent” on the assumed trade discussions and NBA rumors.
Boston is one, if not the only, of the teams in the NBA with the rare combination of young prospects and lottery-projected draft picks owing to previous deals. And this means a rebuilding team like Philadelphia is one of the perfect trade partners for the Celtics in the said NBA rumors.
Boston is currently in third place in the East with a 32-24 win-loss card. They have been playing well (9-3 so far in February) of late but they are still not seriously taken as one of the teams that can topple LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers atop the Eastern Conference.
A move for a young superstar like Okafor could have been the move that put them over the top—or at least seriously give James and the Cavs a run for their money in the postseason.
The Celtics are two-man deep in every position, which put the team in a position for what could have been a good 3-for-1 or 4-1 trade in the NBA rumors.
If Okafor were the target, the Celtics most likely would have dangled their 2016 first round pick (from the Brooklyn Nets), which is expected to be a lottery pick in this year’s draft as the Nets (15-40) are one of the worst teams in the league so far this season.
The Celtics are still in very good position to make some noise in the postseason. However, without a real go-to-guy and/or superstar it’s difficult to see them beating a team that features James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.
However, even without an upset of the Cavs in the playoffs, the Celtics remain one of the most promising teams in the league in the future with their collection of talent and endless future draft picks.
Boston will again search for probable deals again starting the offseason. And like days before the trade deadline this year, the Celtics are hoping to acquire that one superstar that can put them among the elite title contenders in the NBA.
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