After suffering an early exit in the 2020 Playoffs, rumors have started to swirl around All-Star forward Paul George and his future with the Los Angeles Clippers. With his inconsistent performance in his first postseason appearance with the team, there is speculation that the Clippers could rearrange their roster and make George available on the trading block this fall. Once they start entertaining offers for George, several teams that are in dire need of additional star power are expected to make an immediate call to the Clippers, including the Boston Celtics.
As long as Danny Ainge is the general manager and president of basketball operations, the Celtics will always be linked to rumors involving star players. They may have surpassed expectations in the 2019-20 NBA season, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they continue to find ways to improve their rotation in the 2020 offseason. To bring George to Boston, Andrew Hughes of Fansided’s Hardwood Houdini suggested that the Celtics could offer a package that includes Gordon Hayward, the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2020 first-round pick, the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2020 first-round pick, and their own lottery-protected 2021 first-round pick.
If the deal becomes a reality, Hughes believes that it would benefit both the Celtics and the Clippers.
“For the Cs, this move accomplishes a few things. The first is fixing the surplus of draft picks and two-way contracted talents like Tremont Waters and the 7-foot-5 messiah Tacko Fall that are accompanied by the shortage of roster spots. Secondly, it is a move to add a third (or potentially fourth if Jaylen Brown can make the jump) All-Star to a roster that could be just short of an NBA Championship or Eastern Conference crown. While giving up the draft picks isn’t fun, the Cs roster seems locked in for the foreseeable future, so this would essentially be a one-for-one given the lack of opportunities the incoming picks would have.”
Trading all those assets for George would make a lot of sense for the Celtics as it would enable them to add another All-Star caliber talent to their roster without giving up Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum. As a ball-dominant superstar, his fit in Boston would be a major issue for George, but if he managed to mesh well with Brown, Tatum, and Kemba Walker, the Celtics could form a fearsome foursome next year.
Meanwhile, Hayward may not be the player that he used to be, but since suffering a serious injury, he has already shown massive improvement with his performance. This season, he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. If he regains his All-Star form, Hayward could replace George as Kawhi Leonard’s new star running mate in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Aside from Hayward, the potential deal would also enable the Clippers to replenish their war chest of first-rounders. They could use those picks to add young and promising talents to their team or as trade chips to acquire quality veterans.