The new-look Boston Celtics are on a roll, which has some observers wondering if they might add some star-powered reinforcements this summer in the form of Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.
The Celtics apparently could be front-runners to acquire one of the game’s best players, an unnamed NBA executive told Adam Taylor of Heavy.com.
The C’s positioned themselves to be able to pursue a superstar this summer when they dipped below the luxury tax at the February trade deadline. President of basketball operations Brad Stevens was able to toe the line of making moves that would immediately improve the roster while planning for the future.
The aforementioned NBA executive suggested a trade package centered around Marcus Smart and Derrick White, along with Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith and a draft pick.
That package may sound underwhelming for Trail Blazers fans, but a trade for Lillard has many factors that could limit his value. For starters, Lillard is owed $42 million for the 2022-23 season, $45 million in 2023-24, and a $48 million player option in 2024-25. A team would have to commit quite a lot financially for a 31-year-old who is currently missing time for abdominal surgery.
The Celtics, however, seem poised to make a major splash this summer to provide help for a roster on the brink of serious contention. A big three of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Lillard could put the Celtics’ roster over the edge.
Lillard has averaged 24 points, 7.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds this season. He would provide the Celtics with a dangerous, high-volume shooter in the backcourt should a deal could get done this summer.