Since the 2019 NBA offseason, the Boston Celtics have been active on the trade market, searching for the perfect replacement for veteran center Al Horford. The Celtics may currently have Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, and Robert Williams III manning the center position, but none of those players seemingly could fill the hole Horford left on the defensive end of the floor. One of the dream trade targets for the Celtics in the 2020 NBA offseason is All-Star center Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz have yet to show any indication they are planning to move Gobert, but if they fail to fix the ongoing dispute between him and the face of the franchise, Donovan Mitchell, they could be forced to break up their young star duo this fall. Once Gobert becomes officially available on the trading block, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes the Celtics have enough trade assets to convince the Jazz to send him to Boston. In the proposed trade scenario, the Celtics would be sending a trade package that includes Marcus Smart, Williams III, Theis, Romeo Langford, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Jazz in exchange for Gobert.
“Boston has arguably the best group of guards and wings in the NBA and may only be one dominant big away from being championship-ready,” Swartz wrote. “If the Jazz have any hesitations about Gobert leaving in free agency next summer, the Celtics could offer a loaded package of players and picks. Gobert gives Boston the NBA’s best defensive center, someone who can play alongside four smaller wings and protect the rim while setting hard screens and finishing lobs.”
Gobert is indeed a dream trade target for Boston, especially if they are still determined to fill the huge hole left by Horford. Having the two-time Defensive Player of the Year on their roster would not only boost their performance on the defensive end of the floor, but it would also further improve their offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 7 in the league, scoring 110.1 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. Trading a very reliable contributor and a fan-favorite like Smart would undeniably be a tough decision for the Celtics, but it would definitely be worth it if it means acquiring a player of Gobert’s caliber.
The successful acquisition of the center in the 2020 offseason would turn the Celtics from an average playoff team to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. Adding him to the core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward would give Boston a legitimate chance of beating powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Los Angeles Clippers in a best-of-seven series.