By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
The Indiana Pacers pulled back the curtain on Brad Stevens’ Boston Celtics Wednesday night at TD Garden and pointed out this team’s kryptonite: the lack of a star.
Trailing by two possessions in the 3rd quarter, Indiana was able to look to its star, Paul George, and he was able to hit back-to-back three’s sparking an 11-0 run. Those 6 points were part of his 17 in the second half and 26 on the night.
The Celtics, meanwhile, looked down it’s bench and saw no comparable force. They then, in the final 7 minutes, proceeded to score just 4 points.
This is something that C’s fans have swept under the parquet floor as they boast about this teams playoff chances for some time now. And while those playoff predictions are valid, they are still a long ways away from lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
So, where do the Celtics go? How can they get “the guy?”
DeMarcus Cousins’ name has resurfaced as his relationship with Sacramento is beginning to sour and while he would instantly be the best big in the Eastern Conference, I don’t like the idea of Cousins in green. At least at the current asking price.
He’s the perfect fit, right? A center that could start immediately, give the C’s flexibility to move Amir Johnson back down to work with Isaiah Thomas off the bench and they’d be an instant 2-seed in the East. He also could be the star to lure a big time free agent to town this summer.
The best part? He’s 25.
Even though all those things are true, I don’t think he leaves his “on-off court baggage” at the Sacramento airport.
The other (the main) reason why I don’t want to trade for him: Ben Simmons.
Let’s face it, Brooklyn is terrible even if they did beat Houston on Wednesday. They are not built for the long term and that is great if you are a Celtics fan. Thanks to the Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry trade, Boston is in line to get Brooklyn’s 2016 unprotected first round pick, the ability to swap in 2017 and their first in 2018.
It really is an embarrassment of riches for Danny Ainge and he will most likely trade some, if not most, of those picks for quality talent to help his team. But not until they get “the guy.”
Simmons looks like he will become “the guy” for whatever team he ends up with and I for one hope it’s the Celtics. The LSU product is a matchup nightmare at 6’10” and 240 pounds. He’s been compared to LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Tracy McGrady. Not a bad list.
Yes, I do remember missing out on Kevin Durant / Greg Oden (phew) in 2007 and I know ghost of Tim Duncan in a Celtics uniform still shakes the Garden to it’s core, but I’d still rather take my chances in the NBA Lottery.
But why not take the known commodity in Cousins? Glad you asked.
I’m afraid I know what Boston is getting in Boogie and that baggage I mentioned earlier, could find it’s way to Boston.
Can Brad Stevens deal with this guy? Does Brad Stevens want to deal with this guy? Is he going to buy in to what Ainge and Stevens are building on Causeway Street or is he going to laugh in their face, rip up the blueprint and turn Boston into Sacramento-East?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the talent. How could you not? And if the Celtics could acquire him without giving up that 2016 Nets pick, it would be a lot harder for me to still say no. But that’s a foolish conversation. This years Nets pick is the cornerstone and reason the Kings would pull the trigger on a deal making it a mute point.
So, do you want to gamble or should we Boogie?