Since losing Al Horford in the 2019 NBA offseason, the Boston Celtics have been active on the trade market, searching for a big man who could fill the hole he left on their roster. Recently, the Celtics have already been linked to several players that are expected to be available on the trade market in the 2020 offseason. One of the most intriguing trade targets for the Celtics this summer is Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report, the Celtics could engage in a three-team blockbuster deal with the Timberwolves and the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire Towns this offseason. In the proposed trade deal, the Celtics would get Towns, the Sixers would receive Gordon Hayward, while the Timberwolves would get Al Horford, Matisse Thybulle, the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2020 first-round pick (top-six-protected), Boston’s 2020 first-round pick, the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2020 first-round pick, Boston’s 2022 first-round pick, and Philadelphia’s 2022 first-round pick.
Though it would almost empty their war chest of draft assets, the potential deal would allow the Celtics to solve the major problem in their frontcourt, while retaining their core group of players. As Ellis noted, the successful acquisition of Towns would make the Celtics the No. 1 threat to the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Bucks in the Eastern Conference.
“The Celtics would be giving up Gordon Hayward and four first-round picks for Towns, but they’d keep their core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart. Since they won’t have enough roster spots to accommodate all three 2020 first-rounders, using them to bring in Towns could turn them into the Milwaukee Bucks’ top threat in the East.”
The potential deal would also be very beneficial for the Sixers as it would enable them to get rid of Horford’s massive contract while acquiring a player who complements their core of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Josh Richardson. Though Hayward has gone through plenty of ups and downs in the past several years, Ellis believes that he could be a “better positional fit” in Philadelphia. If Hayward manages to avoid any major injury and immediately builds chemistry with their core players, the Sixers would have a strong chance of making a deep playoff run in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Meanwhile, the proposed three-team deal with the Celtics and the Sixers would only make sense for the Timberwolves if they are already planning to undergo another full-scale rebuild. Though they would have to absorb Horford’s lucrative deal, the suggested trade would allow them to acquire all the assets they need to speed up the rebuilding process in the post-Towns era.