NBA Rumors: Nikola Vucevic Would Be ‘Dream Target’ For Celtics Before 2021 Trade Deadline
The Boston Celtics may currently hold the best record in the Eastern Conference, but they should still continue to find ways to improve their current roster. As their rivals in the Eastern Conference grow stronger, the Celtics should ideally make sure that Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have the necessary help they need to carry the team to the NBA Finals and capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy. One of the players that Boston could target before the 2021 trade deadline is Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic.
In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report created a list of 2021 trade deadline targets for every team in the league. For the Celtics, he suggested Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Kyle Anderson as the players that they could pursue on the trading block this season. Of these three, Swartz considered Vucevic as the “dream target” for Boston.
“The Celtics don’t have a ton of needs, but continuing to build up the frontcourt would certainly help. Vucevic would be a dream target here, a do-it-all center in the prime of his career whom the Celtics could run a chunk of their offense through. Boston is just 29th in the NBA in assist percentage (54.5 percent), while Vucevic is averaging 3.5 assists and shooting a career-high 42.4 percent from three.”
Though they just signed Tristan Thompson in the 2020 free agency period, trading for Vucevic might still make a lot of sense for the Celtics. His arrival in Boston could further solidify their frontcourt, giving them a starting-caliber center who is capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Aside from being a reliable option on the offensive end of the floor, he’s also a great rebounder and has good on-court vision as a passer.
This season, the 30-year-old center is averaging 22.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from the three-point range, per ESPN. Adding him to their core of Tatum, Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart could give them a better chance of beating Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat in a best-of-seven series.
Bringing a player of Vucevic’s caliber to Boston would definitely come with a price, but it likely wouldn’t require them to pay a king’s ransom. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, the Celtics could theoretically acquire him from the Magic by sending them a package that includes Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards, Daniel Theis, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick.