The internet has been flowing with NBA trade rumors that involve the Boston Celtics for quite some time, and they will seemingly continue until general manager Danny Ainge makes that big deal that he has been seeking. Many of the rumored proposals have focused on the Celtics' pursuit of a quality center to pair with prized free agent acquisition Al Horford, and the latest gossip from the rumor mill does indeed follow that same pattern.
According to iSports Times, Boston may be willing to part with a package of multiple players and draft choices to obtain a star player. Small forward Jae Crowder and power forward Amir Johnson are specifically mentioned in this article as potential trade fodder if the Celtics are able to swing a deal for a top-flight performer. Yibada details the possibility that Boston could bring Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside to the Celtics; the hypothetical trade would include players such as Crowder and Johnson, as well as one of the Brooklyn Nets' first-round draft picks that the Celtics currently own.
Current NBA trade rumors are swirling that the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat may be contemplating a deal. The rumored scenario that is presently being discussed online would have Hassan Whiteside joining the Celtics, while the Heat would receive Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, small forward James Young, and the Nets' first-round draft choice in 2017. The ESPN NBA Trade Machine tells us that this transaction would be approved by the NBA, so that hurdle has been cleared in determining whether this rumored proposal is credible or not.
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If the Boston Celtics make this trade, it would allow them to plug Whiteside into the center position, and move Al Horford to power forward. However, the team would only have one small forward left on the roster, and rookie Jaylen Brown is clearly not ready to play big minutes for a contending team. The draft choice that the Celtics would allegedly include in this offer is likely to be very high in the 2017 NBA Draft, since the Brooklyn Nets currently have the worst record in the league.
The Miami Heat would be signaling their willingness to go into a rebuilding phase by accepting this proposal. Jae Crowder and Amir Johnson would step right into Miami's starting lineup, especially with incumbents Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts dealing with significant injuries. Brooklyn's 2017 draft pick would be a tremendous asset to the Heat's rebuilding process, but the downside of this swap would be the huge hole that Miami would have at the center position if they dealt Hassan Whiteside.
Another element that must be considered is Hassan Whiteside's history. Early in his NBA career, Whiteside was failing due to a reported lack of work ethic, as well as an arrogant attitude, per USA Today. It took several years of toiling in the D-League and getting cut by multiple NBA teams, but Whiteside blossomed after he joined the Miami Heat in 2014. Now that he has found success on the court and received a massive $98 million contract as a result, no one knows for sure if he will eventually revert to his former self, or if he is truly reformed and will continue to play at an NBA All-Star-level for years to come.
This example from the most recent group of NBA trade rumors is an intriguing one for both the Celtics and the Heat to consider. Miami's interest in dealing Whiteside would only come after the team decided to blow up their roster and start over, and that hasn't happened yet. Boston would surely like to add Whiteside, but the overall cost and lack of a suitable replacement for Jae Crowder would give them pause. As of today, neither team would be likely to agree to this theoretical trade offer, but that could change as we get closer to the trade deadline in February.
[Featured Image by Wilfredo Lee/AP Images]