Despite holding the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics are still not considered as one of the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2020-21 NBA season. In order to have a legitimate chance of taking down Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and the Philadephia 76ers in a best-of-seven series, most people believe that the Celtics should strongly consider improving their supporting cast around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
In a recent article, Andrew Hughes of Fansided’sHardwood Houdini came up with a blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Celtics to acquire three quality players before the March 25 deadline. The hypothetical three-team deal would involve the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks. In the proposed trade scenario, the Celtics would get John Collins, Harrison Barnes, Rajon Rondo, and Solomon Hill, the Hawks would receive Buddy Hield, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, two first-round picks, and two second-rounder, and the Kings would obtain Cam Reddish, Aaron Nesmith, Kevin Huerter, Kris Dunn, and a future first-rounder.
Though the potential deal would require them to sacrifice several young players and future draft assets, Hughes believes that bringing Collins, Barnes, and Rondo to Beantown would be worth it for the Celtics.
“While Barnes and Collins don’t qualify as such at the moment, Collins has the possibility to become one in the future. He’s already put up star-like numbers–21 points, ten rebounds, 1.6 blocks in 2019-20 on 40% 3-point shooting–but just needs to supplant his stats with meaningful wins. He can definitely do that in a Cs lineup as a small-ball center or a traditional power forward. Barnes is having a career year, sporting a 49/41/85 shooting slash, and as a bench piece or the starting power forward, he would see the most open looks he’s had since his days with the Golden State Warriors as a tertiary option in Boston.”
Collins could be an incredible addition to the Celtics, giving them a starting-caliber big man who is capable of efficiently knocking down shots from beyond the arc. At 23, he also perfectly fits the timeline of Tatum and Brown. Meanwhile, Barnes and Rondo would give Boston two reliable veterans who are battle-tested in the playoffs and have championship experience.
Barnes is a former member of the Golden State Warriors’ team that captured the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2015 and posted a historical 73-9 regular-season record the following year. The proposed transaction would also bring back a familiar face in Boston — Rondo started his NBA career with the Celtics and helped them win a title in 2008. Though he’s no longer in his prime, Rondo could still give the Celtics a major boost in their backcourt.
Though none of Collins, Barnes, and Rondo are considered superstars, adding them to the core of Tatum, Brown, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Tristan Thompson, and Daniel Theis could make the Celtics a tougher team to face in the playoffs.