Skip to main content

60 days to Trade Deadline & the playoff value of Gordon Hayward

Key dates for the Celtics coming up include December 15, 2019, when they can trade free agents signed in the off-season, and February 7, 2020, which is the trade deadline. The key free agents in that category are Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter. I see no chance of Kemba being sent packing by Danny Ainge. He has proven himself as a vital cog in a Celtics system that beams contentment and wins games.

Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens have seen enough of Kanter to decide whether he fits the needed role at center or not. Kanter is splitting time at the 5-spot with Daniel Theis and Rob Williams. The trio combines for 51.5 MPG (close enough to 48.0), 17.9 PPG, 17.2 RPG, 3.5 APG and 3.1 BPG. That is a solid double-double - coupled with 3.5 assists and 3.1 blocks per game. So what's the problem? It starts with the 3-pointers - or lack thereof. After 21 games, the threesome is 3-of-16 from beyond the arc, and Daniel made all three. These guys are not stretch-fives.

All three can score inside and rebound, while two of them (Theis and Williams III) are adept rim protectors. Daniel is the best of the lot at perimeter defense, while Rob may be the best passer. Put Enes in there and you get inside scoring and rebounding. Inject Theis in there and we get rim protection, rebounding and perimeter defense. Williams offers scoring on lobs, rebounding and rim protection, much like Daniel.


The Cleveland Cavaliers are making it clear that center/forward Kevin Love is available. Boston would need to trade Gordon Hayward to accomplish that, and I can't see it happening. Packaging Theis and Kanter for a center other than Love, such as Myles Turner, is a possibility.

Weaknesses are revealed in the post-season, and the center spot may not be playoff-weak, but it is not optimum - and Ainge knows it. With the surge this season of the Jay Team and the imminent return of Hayward, Danny may feel confident that lack of perfection at the center position can be attenuated by the scoring, defense and rebounding of his core-five of Hayward, Tatum, Brown, Walker and Smart. That five-some is one hell of a balanced, versatile crew and could very well finish many close playoff contests quite effectively.

On the question of Hayward, it is worth noting that the Celtics were 7-1 with him (.875) and 9-4 without him (.692). In the eight games he played, his line showed 31.2 MPG, 18.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 4.1 APG - with only 1.9 turnovers/game. He shot 56% FG/43% 3s/84% FT. He can effectively play three positions, and take on point guard or center duty in a pinch. He is versatile, seasoned and clever as they come - just what the Celtics need come playoff time. But he has a player option for next season. Can Danny sign him to a reasonable contract? That is a major question.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Elm Street Nightmare

 A true-and-suspenseful horror tale of haunting, homicides and the hunt for triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante - as told by the cops that were there By Lt. Thomas Lane (Ret.) and Off. Steven Bezanson (Ret.) Daniel Laplante - cold, calm, clever, calculating menace Elm Street  surfaces on three occasions in the Laplante saga: 1.) He  resided on Elm Street  in Townsend, Massachusetts 2.) He  kidnapped a woman  at gunpoint on  Elm Street, Pepperell , Massachusetts 3.) He was  tried and convicted  of the murders at  Superior Court , corner of  Elm Stree t and Gorham Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. When evil and cleverness reside in the same mind, the stage is often set for true horror. Such was the case with triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante . As a 16-year old , he quickly transitioned from: Minor thefts and breaking into homes To: Taunting and threatening a father and his two daughters as an unseen presence , frequently hiding in a tiny space between the walls of the home . To: Kidnapping th

Sign the Petition! Let's honor Tommy Heinsohn

  No longtime Celtics fan can watch games this year without a somewhat heavy heart. For the last 50 plus years, we have been blessed as a franchise to have Tommy Heinsohn, Mr. Celtic himself, as a part of the organization. Whether it be as a player, coach, or commentator, Tommy has been an instrumental figure for the green, and his presence is missed on every broadcast. Nobody embodied what it meant to be a Celtic more than Tommy, and I know I miss his energy and ferocity every time Scal claims the refs "made the right call" against the Cs. While Tommy obviously belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics, he is often overlooked in his place among the greats of NBA history. Looking back upon his life, one would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger impact on NBA basketball than Mr. Celtic. For those who are unfamiliar, let's do a quick review. Tommy is one of 2 people to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and coach (the other being the indomitable Len

Using trade exception to acquire Aaron Gordon needs consideration

The Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon was taken fourth-overall in the 2014 NBA draft, two spots before Boston picked Marcus Smart at #6. I felt at the time that Danny Ainge would have taken Gordon with the sixth pick if the 6'8" power forward was still on the board. Well now, with a $28.5 million trade exception in his hands, it may be time to consider adding the super-athletic wing. Here's why: Brad Stevens feels you can't have enough mid-sized wings Brad Stevens does not favor the "little guys" because they often get mis-matched on defense by taller opponents. He also is not fond of the old-school, big centers. In his mind, they just can't be effective on his switching, perimeter defensive strategies. Gordon's salary fits the trade exception Aaron is set to earn $18.1 million this season and $16.4 million in the 2021-22 season. His salary was front-loaded, and that relatively-low $16.1 million figure kicks in when Jayson Tatum's max contract goes