It could be argued that the Boston Celtics don’t need to make any moves prior to the NBA’s trade deadline on Feb. 9.
But that’s no fun.
The Celtics have sprinted out to the NBA’s best record, sitting at 36-15 with just eight games to go before the All-Star break. Jayson Tatum is playing at an MVP level. Boston’s bench has seen marked improvement on both ends. The return of Robert Williams III has gone relatively smoothly.
That doesn’t mean Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens isn’t still looking at possible improvements, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks has given his opinion on which upgrade Boston could make.
Trade we would like to see: Willy Hernangomez from New Orleans for two second-round picks (Portland’s in 2023 and Boston’s in 2029).
The Celtics are admittedly hamstrung when it comes to trade options. Unless it’s willing to part with a contributor, Boston will need to use one of its trade exceptions. At $5.9 million, $2.2 million, $1.7 million and $1.8 million, the best option if using a trade exception could be Hernangomez.
Despite averaging seven points and 4.7 rebounds per game, Hernangomez has been in and out of the Pelicans lineup due to the play of Zion Williamson, Jonas Valanciunas and Larry Nance Jr. The 29-year-old has been open about his frustrations, with just about everyone agreeing a change of scenery is needed.
Adding Hernangomez would provide the Celtics with some insurance to big men Williams and Al Horford, who have injury concerns that Boston has been very careful with, leaving it undermanned at times.
For a pair of second-round picks, Hernangomez provides cheap and effective coverage.