With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart, the Boston Celtics have a pretty solid core of young stars. And, despite Danny Ainge’s reputation for being a major risk-taker, he has resisted the urge to include any of their main players in a trade.
Still, it doesn’t mean he won’t make a move if the right opportunity presents itself.
In a recent article by Mark Nilon of Hardwood Houdini, he presents one scenario in which the Celtics could part with their star point guard, Kemba Walker, for defensive specialist Rudy Gobert.
“A 2x Defensive Player of the Year and a perennial All-NBA talent, Gobert is having yet another impressive season in Utah, averaging 12.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks a game on 60 percent shooting from the floor. Still in search for an answer at the pivot, the 7-2 Stifle Tower would easily fill Boston’s void down low as well as give the team an actual option to combat that of the other dominant bigs in the East that they proved to struggle against in the 2020 postseason such as Joel Embiid and Bam Adebayo.”
Gobert would be a huge game-changer for Boston. As the NBA’s best defensive big, the 7-0 center would bolster rim protection and rebounding for the club. This season, he’s averaging 12.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game on 59% shooting.
For the Jazz, the chance to pair Donovan Mitchell with an expert scorer and playmaker like Kemba could go leaps and bounds in helping them get over the hump in the West.
The question is, how willing are both sides to sacrifice a major component of their roster?
At the very least, one has to think they will be looking for ways to make their teams better — even if the cost is high.