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The Boston Celtics are struggling at 15 wins and as many losses in a season they were projected by many to be a contender after their strong showing in the Disney-hosted Orlando “bubble” playoffs, to the dismay of their hopeful fans.
But the list of potential fixes for the team — armed with a historically-large traded player exception generated by star Gordon Hayward’s departure to the Charlotte Hornets in the offseason — seems to grow larger by the hour, and The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has weighed in with his own thoughts. The former Celtics Blogger has some opinions on the feasibility of a number of popular proposals — let’s take a look at his assessment of how to address Boston’s woes.
Celtics report card at the 30-game mark: it’s time to get to work https://t.co/tFGjOe1KCH
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) February 22, 2021
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"All indications are that [Beal] and the Wizards front office will wait until the offseason to sort out their future," suggests O'Connor about many a Celtic fan's No. 1 dream option. "For the Celtics to ever get Beal, they’ll probably need him to scare teams away by signaling he won’t re-sign anywhere else once his contract is up. Tatum and Beal have known each other since they were kids, so there is a connection," adds the Ringer analyst. "But don’t bank on it."
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"Magic center Nikola Vucevic is a popular name among Celtics fans, but he would be mighty expensive," rightly observes KOC. "Executives around the league say Orlando has shown no interest in moving Vucevic," he adds. "He’s a favorite of Steve Clifford’s coaching staff and a centerpiece of their offense; though the 30-year-old may not be part of their long-term future, he’s an important piece to facilitate development of their young players."
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"With Houston’s season going south, Victor Oladipo could be flipped," proposes The Ringer writer. "But would the Celtics want to pay for a potential rental ahead of his free agency this summer, knowing his preference is to play with the Heat?" Winning can change minds in a hurry, but would 'Dipo be enough?
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
O'Connor notes a similar problem regarding availability for the Kings forward as exists with Vucevic. "[Barnes is] obviously not untouchable, but the Kings are trying to make the playoffs despite a seven-game losing streak," he suggests. Expect a hefty deal to even get in the conversation, in other words.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
"[A]n older veteran like Thaddeus Young to bolster the frontcourt makes the most sense," opines O'Connor. "He’d cost the Celtics only part of their massive traded player exception, plus less assets than other higher-value targets would." "Young is a 32-year-old veteran who could serve as a small-ball center and add toughness, playmaking, and size," who wouldn't necessarily make them contenders... But they also don't have to stop there, either. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=46940,46937,46932,46856] [listicle id=46959]