The Boston Celtics ’ongoing struggle has lifted pressure to add momentum at this week’s trading deadline, and the rumor mill has been becoming increasingly busy recently.
Athletic ‘s Jared Weiss and Charania Shams announced Monday that the Celtics have been in talks about a possible deal for Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon. Charania had previously reported on Boston’s interest in John Collins ’big Hawks but noted Monday that Atlanta has expressed interest in Marcus Smart. Evan Fournier, Bogdan Bogdanović and others have been mentioned in the latest rumors related to the Celtics, so let ‘s sift through some of the Boston – linked players in the last few days.
The Gordon-to-Boston rumors appear to be gaining momentum as we approach Thursday ‘s deadline, but the 25 – year wing is set to attract a lot of interest across the league. The Celtics have been in talks with Orlando based around Gordon, all Weiss, and Matt Moore from the Action Network announced Monday night that Boston is now ahead of the Magic.
Orlando wants two first-round picks, or one first-round pick and a young player, according to The Athletic update, which has confirmed that Boston has put two hundred on the table in a deal that would also -in Fournier. Two hundred is a heavy price, but it makes a lot more sense if Boston gets Gordon and Fournier back. The additional players, if any, that would be included in the deal are yet to be seen, but Smart ‘s name will certainly come up in those talks if Orlando deals with both players to Boston.
The Celtics desperately need help on the wing and Gordon would add a nice mix of size and flexibility along with strong playing ability. He is entering the final year of his contract, where he is set to make around $ 16.4 million next season (a number declining after his $ 18.1 million payday this year) . In other words, the Celtics are able to include Gordon in their $ 28.5 million trading exception. That direct route would put Boston a little over the luxury tax, however.
Gordon has struggled to stretch this season on defense, despite missing extended time with a badly sprained ankle. Orlando has dealt with a number of injuries, something that has made Gordon ‘s court situation more difficult when he is fit. In 22 games, he averages 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists shooting 44.2% (40.2% 3PT). Overall, Gordon would be a great addition in an area where the Celtics have struggled largely this season, but both kicks in the first round seem to be a bit steep.
Fournier will beat the free agency this offseason, but Orlando is likely to be looking for Smart if he sends the 28 – year – old Frenchman to Boston with Gordon. That sounds like a cost out of the Boston price range, or at least one that should be. Smart is very popular with members of the Celtics group, and integrating it along with multiple select versions feels like an overpayment in this particular situation.
When evaluating these Orlando-Boston rumors, it is important to note the timing. It’s early in the week, and teams like the Magic seem to be using different strategies to try to raise the price for players like Gordon. In other words, you may not see a contract made, if at all, until Thursday.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday that Atlanta has expressed interest in Smart, which would likely be part of a larger deal sending Collins to Boston. Weiss added more information, noting that Bogdanović would likely be included in a package going to the Celtics in that position.
Collins is an awesome player, he would fit Boston’s needs and fit the Celtics timeline, but his upcoming payday, as well as Atlanta’s asking price, seems to be pushing this contract out of reach. The 23-year-old rejected a $ 90 million expansion this summer. The athlete also said Atlanta handed out a contract that was built around Jaylen Brown during the Collins-based debate. Boston shouldn’t be interested in that, so I don’t see those conversations going anywhere like now.
Bogdanović is likely to be part of the larger deal announced, which may be difficult to do. Again, it seems Boston is unwilling to put Brown on the table in those talks, which could lead to Atlanta walking away from the table. Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has reported that Boston had trade talks regarding Bogdanović while with Sacramento.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3pm ET.