Could the Boston Celtics kill two birds with one very large Latvian bird ahead of the NBA trade deadline?
The Celtics reportedly are involved in no shortage of trade discussions ahead of Thursday’s deadline, and now Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix is reporting they have interest in Washington Wizards big man Davis Bertans.
Boston is said to have “strong interest” in the 6-foot-10 Bertans, Mannix wrote Tuesday.
There’s no reason to believe anything is close per Mannix’s report, though.
“Washington has effectively hung up on teams looking to extract Bertans, but Boston could make things interesting if they throw a pick or two into the pot,” Mannix wrote.
Danny Ainge’s chest of draft assets isn’t as full as it once was, but the Celtics do have some capital to offer. Boston has three first-round picks in 2020, including a top-six pick from the Memphis Grizzlies that ultimately could be a lottery selection. The Celtics also have their own first-rounder and the Bucks’ first-round pick, both of which will almost certainly come at the very end of the first.
Boston also has multiple second-round picks it could offer in a trade.
Bertans would help the Celtics in multiple areas. At 6-10, 225 pounds, he obviously has size and could bolster Boston’s front court. If the Celtics decided to bring him off the bench — he has started just four of 40 games for the Wizards this season — he’d also help remedy Boston’s bench-scoring issues. As it stands right now, the Celtics are 27th in bench scoring and 28th in 3-point percentage. Bertans, who is having a breakout season, figures to help in both areas as he’s averaging 15 points per game (which is equal to more than half of Boston’s bench output this season) and shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point land.
As Mannix notes, it makes sense that Washington doesn’t want to move him, but the Wizards are going nowhere this season. Boston should also be extra motivated to explore the possibility of a big move given the wide-open nature of the NBA this season.