The Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets have both been playing solidly in the first few months of the 2019-20 NBA season. However, a new report suggests that both teams could benefit from a midseason trade involving some of their complementary players, namely the Celtics’ Gordon Hayward and the Nuggets’ Gary Harris and Mason Plumlee.
In a list of suggested pre-trade deadline moves for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, Bleacher Report‘s Andy Bailey wrote in his entry for the Celtics that the team may need an additional threat off the bench, despite how well they played during the four weeks that Hayward missed with a hand injury. The Nuggets, meanwhile, were described as an organization that could use some extra offense via a “consolidation” trade, hence the suggested deal that would send Hayward to Denver for Harris, Plumlee, and a future first-round draft pick.
Assessing how each player could contribute to their new team if the recommended trade pushes forward, Bailey pointed out that Plumlee has some advantages over current Celtics centers Enes Kanter, Robert Williams, and Daniel Theis. He added that the veteran big man’s experience, passing, and defensive ability could make him an “intriguing fit” alongside young forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatu in Boston’s frontcourt.
While the Nuggets’ center rotation would be affected by the trade, Bailey explained that Denver could make up for this by having reserve power forward Jerami Grant spend more time in the middle. As for Hayward’s theoretical move to the Nuggets, the Bleacher Report writer said that the 29-year-old small forward could help their cause with his scoring, given how the team’s depth in terms of offensive options has “stagnated” this season.
We got Gordon Hayward back and continued to click on offense, with all five starters finishing in double-figures. pic.twitter.com/nHkAWYkDus
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 10, 2019
Once a productive backcourt scorer in Denver alongside Jamal Murray, Harris’ numbers have declined this season, as he currently averages only 10.7 points as the Nuggets’ starting shooting guard, per Basketball-Reference. However, Bailey noted that the sixth-year pro could potentially replace Marcus Smart on the Celtics’ starting lineup, serving as a “three-and-D” threat on the floor and possibly allowing Boston to deal Kanter, Williams, or Theis for “help elsewhere on the roster.”
Although Harris and Plumlee haven’t figured in most recent pre-trade deadline rumors, this isn’t the first time this month that Hayward was suggested as a potential trade piece. Last week, The Inquisitr reported on a theoretical deal that would allow the Celtics to acquire power forward Blake Griffin from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Hayward and Smart.