‘Tis the season for hypothetical trades in the NBA, as we’ve entered the quiet right before the storm that is the 2018 NBA Draft and ensuing free agency.
We’ve already shared with you one hypothetical trade involving the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs centered around Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard. From a Celtics standpoint, we weren’t big fans of that one; the C’s were giving up way too much.
This one, though, this one we’ll admit has us intrigued.
Let’s get right into the specifics, this one courtesy of ESPN.com.
Celtics acquire: Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah
Knicks acquire: Kyrie Irving, No. 27 pick in 2018 NBA Draft
Writes ESPN NBA editor Austin Tedesco: “Since he surely believes he’s on track for a full recovery from knee surgery, Irving is right that it doesn’t make sense for him to extend his contract. But that also means Boston should strike if the right deal pops up, and I like this one more than going after Kawhi Leonard.”
Of course, this trade also comes with a caveat. Porzingis currently is still rehabbing from his own season-ending knee surgery after he tore his ACL midway through last season. It’s unclear when Porzingis will be able to return, but that shouldn’t matter too much to the Celtics, reasons Tedesco.
“This is a fair risk for a potentially transcendent 5 (when healthy) who doesn’t turn 23 until August,” he writes. “The $38 million left on Noah’s deal is rough, but Boston can stomach it until it expires in 2019-20. They’d get Porzingis ahead of his restricted free agency and start extension talks with Terry Rozier.”
Interesting. Very interesting, indeed.
But it’s also probably highly unlikely because, quite frankly, that’s just a lot of risk for the Celtics. Are they really sure Porzingis will be the same player he was when he returns from the knee injury? Are they really sure Terry Rozier (or Marcus Smart) can be the point guard of a team ready to contend for an NBA title? The thought of teaming Porzingis with that Celtics core would be undoubtedly tantalizing, but again, that’s a lot of uncertainty.
Plus, it’s only hypothetical … as far as we know.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images