The Boston Celtics plan to use the Brooklyn Nets’ 2017 first-round pick to improve their frontcourt and the Philadelphia 76ers remain as an ideal trade partner. Will Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel strengthen the Celtics chance to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers?
The Celtics are one of the NBA teams who dreamt of contending for the title this season. They managed to upgrade their roster with the acquisition of Al Horford in the recent free agency. So far, the Celtics are 21-14, 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
As of now, the Cavaliers remain as the top favorite to dominate the East and expected to face the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals. On Thursday, they acquired Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks to address their minor roster weakness. According to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, the Cavs’ latest upgrade is obviously a message for East contenders, like the Boston Celtics, to improve their roster.
“With a cache of young (and expendable) rotation players and too many future draft assets to count, Ainge can reasonably construct attractive trade packages for all but, say, the NBA’s top 15 stars and top-tier young prospects,” Golliver wrote.
A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast Sports revealed that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge started listening to offers for the Nets’ 2017 first-round pick. Josh Wilson of The Sixer Sense suggests that the Sixers should grab the opportunity to move either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel.
NERLENS NOEL TO BOSTON MAKES SENSE
The Celtics need to boost their frontcourt by trading for a quality big man to pair with Al Horford. They are currently ranked 29th in rebounding rate with 47.4 and 18th in defensive efficiency, allowing 105.5 points per 100 possessions. Between the two Sixers’ big men, trading for Nerlens Noel will make more sense for the Celtics.
Noel is clearly the odd man out in the City of Brotherly Love. He received limited playing time under coach Brett Brown, who prefers to use Okafor and Joel Embiid in his frontcourt. However, the success of the trade depends upon the negotiation between the Celtics and the Sixers.
Recalling in the 2016 NBA draft, the Celtics offered the third overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft to Sixers for one of their centers. However, general manager Bryan Colangelo asked for an additional asset in return but the Celtics refused.
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