It’s not hard to assume that the Boston Celtics will at least entertain the trade market before the start of next season.

Yes, the answer isn’t exactly crystal clear. You’d think a Celtics team led by two All-NBA winners, the Sixth Man of the Year, last season’s Defensive Player of the Year and an abundance of playoff (plus some NBA Finals) experience, would be positioned for a convincing run at Banner 18, right? Well, evidently that didn’t ring true so the C’s are back to square one, hitting the drawing board again this offseason.

So, perhaps Boston president of basketball operations Brad Stevens should dial the phone and make a few calls, more specifically reaching out to those who, like the Celtics were years ago upon Steven’s head coaching debut, are fully committed to a rebuilding stage.

A team that potentially fits that mold? The Washington Wizards.

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“Many rival executives The Athletic has polled informally over the last two weeks expect Winger to undertake a full rebuild — if not this offseason, then within the next year,” according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

Washington last season went 35-47, which was good for its fourth playoff miss in the past five years. Therefore, it’s not a reach to conclude that the Wizards would depart from their most valuable assets considering they’ll never be capable of carrying the front office’s burden and making a deep playoff hunt, which Washington general manager Michael Winger hinted at.

“I don’t think we’re going to be an overnight title contender; that I’m pretty confident about,” Winger said, per Robbins. “And if so, they would rather pursue immediate winning, then they probably do have to pursue that somewhere else. But I think that there’s a very open dialog, a very open invitation to talk about the future of the team — the near-term future and the long-term future — and see where goals align and see where they don’t align.”

So… who should Stevens and the rest of the front office entertain with Washington nearing its turmoil stage? Here are three options:

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Kristaps Porzingis
No, he’s not the same must-watch “unicorn” talent he once was in a New York Knicks jersey, but that isn’t what the Celtics would need.

Porzingis is still an elite-level front-court threat with the ability to protect the glass and score, leading the Wizards in both points (23.2) and rebounds (8.4). Obviously, there’s the salary factor in place that won’t complicate this hypothetical trade target, but the 27-year-old would be a huge upgrade from the cement-footed Al Horford, who is far beyond his prime and got exposed for his age all throughout the playoffs.

Porzingis is set to make over $36 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Deni Avdija
Since being drafted in 2020, Avidija has grown into a serviceable reserve unit playmaker with solid instincts for creating scoring opportunities for teammates.

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The 22-year-old averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 43.7% from the field in 76 games played last season. There is room for improvement in Avidija’s outside shooting, but considering he’s shown potential on both ends of the floor, maybe the Celtics would consider transferring the playing time that went to Grant Williams — who could walk away in free agency — over to Avidija off the bench.

Avidija has a club option worth over $6 million and will become a restricted free agent next offseason.

Corey Kispert
Another intriguing young talent that the Celtics could possibly consider is Corey Kispert.

Washington rewarded Kispert with a boost in minutes (28.3) last season. The 24-year-old hit new career-high numbers in year two of NBA play, averaging 11.1 points with 2.8 rebounds while going 49.7% from the field. Most importantly, Kispert was a sneaky threat from outside range, shooting 42.4% from 3-point territory, which would certainly come in handy for the Celtics after Mike Muscala quickly faded out of performing in the spot-up corner shooting role.

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Kispet has two years remaining (both team options) before becoming a restricted free agent in 2025.

Featured image via John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports Images