Since the departure of Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency, rumors have been circulating that the Boston Celtics are searching for a defensive-minded big man on the trade market. In past months, the Celtics have already been linked to several players who are expected to be available before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. As of now, one of the most intriguing trade deadline targets for the Celtics is Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons.
In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report listed the Drummond-to-Celtics trade as one of the blockbuster deals that would blow up the 2020 February NBA trade. However, the proposed trade deal isn’t just between the Celtics and the Pistons as it would also involve the Dallas Mavericks.
In the suggested trade scenario by Bleacher Report, the Celtics would acquire Drummond, the Mavericks would get Gordon Hayward, and the Pistons would receive Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and a 2020 second-round pick. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. Though it would require them to give up Hayward, trading for Drummond makes a lot of sense for the Celtics.
Kawhi Leonard may no longer be playing in the Eastern Conference, but the Celtics’ road to the NBA Finals won’t be easy, especially with the emergence of numerous powerhouse teams in the league. Buckley believes that the successful acquisition of Drummond would give the Celtics an “answer” to dominant big men from Eastern Conference contenders like Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez of the Milwaukee Bucks, Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors, and Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers.
“If Boston is doing even due diligence on Drummond, that must signal some level of willingness to part with Gordon Hayward, since a Drummond deal can’t happen without him. Put Drummond on the backline and Boston would have its answer to basketball’s behemoths. Moreover, the Celtics would have their key to climbing up from 15th in defensive rebound percentage—making their fourth-ranked defense even more dominant—and a wrecking ball-screener to pair with Kemba Walker.”
The Celtics aren’t the only ones getting stronger if the suggested trade becomes a reality, but so would the Mavericks. Hayward may have been a huge disappointment in his first two years in Boston, but right now, he’s starting to regain his All-Star form. As Buckley noted, adding Hayward to the core of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis could turn the Mavericks from an average playoff team to a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference.