The Boston Celtics have already made some big-time front office moves this offseason. With longtime executive Danny Ainge stepping down, Brad Stevens moving in as team president and Ime Udoka hired as head coach, there are certainly some big changes on the horizon.
According to reports from Jason Quick of The Athletic, the next big move could come with a blockbuster trade.
Despite boasting two young star wings in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics are reportedly interested in acquiring Portland shooting guard CJ McCollum. Quick suggested longtime Boston staple Marcus Smart as a jumping off point for the trade.
“I’ve also heard Boston could be interested in a player like McCollum, and I’ve always thought Marcus Smart and his defense would be a great pairing in Portland (obviously it would take more to make salaries match, but Smart would be a great start),” Quick wrote.
McCollum was in the midst of the best season of his career (averaging 26.7 points per game) before he suffered a hairline fracture on his foot back in January. Despite this injury being the third hairline fracture of his career, the eight-year Trail Blazers guard was able to make a relatively quick return in March — finishing the year with a career-high 23.1 ppg through 47 regular-season contests.
With an extremely back-court heavy roster, a move for McCollum isn’t exactly what the Celtics need right now. That being said, Boston is now down one primary ball handler following the trade of Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this week. The team could potentially use the Portland guard at the PG position, keeping Tatum and Brown on the wings.
McCollum is set to earn $30.8 million with the Blazers in 2021-22.