If you’ve watched the Boston Celtics this season, it’s clear they need help in two areas: rebounding and defense.
The C’s rank 28th out of 30 teams in rebounding and 20th in team defense as the NBA season approaches the All-Star break. With the NBA trade deadline less than a month away, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is attempting to fix these problem areas.
According to CSN New England’s A. Sherrod Blakley, the Celtics reportedly have talked to the Orlando Magic about a potential trade for center Nikola Vucevic.
The C’s have a lot of young assets to make a trade work and the Magic, who currently have the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, would likely entertain an offer for the 26-year-old center.
Vucevic is an effective and versatile offensive player who can stretch the floor out to 18 feet. His defense also has improved this season with the arrival of head coach Frank Vogel. Vucevic is ranked 23rd in individual defensive rating and the Magic are five points better per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor, according to FOX Sports and Synergy Sports.
Getting Vucevic wouldn’t be the home run acquisition that vaults the C’s onto the same level as the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, but it would be a good addition that gives them a scoring threat off the bench who can also defend and clean the glass.
The Orlando center pulls down 9.7 boards per game, good for 14th in the NBA. For comparison, Avery Bradley is currently Boston’s best rebounder, pulling down 6.9 rebounds per game, which it tied for 41st in the league.
If the C’s can get Vucevic for a moderate price they should pull the trigger soon. The price only will go up as the Feb. 23 trade deadline approaches.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images