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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Justin Quinn

Three hypothetical trades proposed for Boston Celtics

Imagine, if you will, an NBA without a trade deadline. In other words, an alternate reality in which teams have no limit on when they can trade players in pursuit of improving their teams for a deep run at the NBA Finals.

In such a counterfactual existence that would permit trades this late in the season, the Boston Celtics could conceivably want to make some moves to bolster their postseason success odds. And to such an end, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley assembled a trio of such trades for us to consider should we ever find ourselves governed by such a generous collective bargaining agreement at the NBA level.

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Let’s take a look at each of them.

Payton Pritchard to Jazz for Udoka Azubuike and two 2nds

Feb 9, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard (11) shoots the ball during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

“Payton Pritchard is a good player. The Celtics have seen him be a good player, ” writes B/R. “They just don’t see this as reason enough to get him in the regular rotation.”

“Azubuike isn’t necessarily an automatic upgrade on what the Celtics have, but that’s where the two second-round picks come into play. It’s possible, though, the 6’10”, 280-pounder is, in fact, better than any big on Boston’s bench.”

Jaylen Brown, Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari to Hawks for Dejounte Murray, John Collins and a 1st

Nov 16, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray (5) deflects the ball away from Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s never easy to calculate the exact trade value of an established star like Brown,” suggests Buckley. “It’s even harder still for the team trading away said star to bring back equal value.”

“This trade feels about right, though. Brown is awesome, but Pritchard is replaceable and Danilo Gallinari is 34 years old and rehabbing a torn ACL.”

Jaylen Brown to the New Orleans Pelicans for Brandon Ingram

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket ahead of New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

“The Celtics might need some draft compensation to account for Brandon Ingram’s injury history, but in terms of talent, this feels pretty even,” opines the B/R analyst.

Brown has the edge in defense and efficiency. Ingram is a better handler and shot-creator. There’s a universe in which both Boston and New Orleans want more of what the other player offers.”

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