It’s no secret the Boston Celtics are struggling.
Tabbed as the preseason Eastern Conference favorites, Boston has limped out of the gate, posting a 9-9 record while failing to find any cohesion on offense. Boston’s supposed “death lineup” of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford has looked more like the “take-a-nap” lineup, posting an offensive rating of 90.5, which is 10 points worse than the Atlanta Hawks who rank 30th in the NBA with a rating of 100.8.
The Celtics’ offensive struggles have come from a number of different areas. Once again Boston is struggling to get to the rim and the free throw line. While the Celtics have launched 3-pointers with reckless abandon, shooting the third most three-pointers per game in the NBA (35.9), Boston is connecting on just 34.3 percent on its tries from long range which ranks 20th.
As Boston continues to sputter, the whispers of the need to make a trade are growing louder and the Washington Wizards could have a deal to make with Boston.
With Washington reportedly looking to trade any of its players, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Brian Windhorst discussed the possibility of the Celtics making a play for Bradley Beal on “The Hoop Collective Podcast.”
“I mean Boston would be pretty great,” Bontemps said. “I mean the Celtics have a million picks, they have Jaylen Brown, they have lots of stuff, but I think they are saving all their powder for a potential Anthony Davis trade. So I don’t think they are going all in on a Beal trade.
“I mean, you’d have to include Marcus Smart in the deal to just make the money work,” Windhorst said. “What about Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and one of their picks?”
Boston understandably would be reticent to trade Brown, as the third-year swingman has tons of potential. The Cal product has had a difficult start to the season, though, averaging 10.9 points while shooting 37.4 percent from the field and 26.9 percent from 3-point range. Brown also is shooting an abysmal 17 percent on wide-open looks and just 35 percent on what’s classified as an “open” look, per NBA.com.
While it would be hard for Boston to part with both Brown and Smart, Beal is a star player who could slide in perfectly alongside Irving and Tatum. The 2012 No. 3 overall pick is a knock down 3-point shooter who can create his own shot off the bounce and has the ability to guard multiple positions. With Boston getting carved up by opposing guards and tripping over itself on offense, Beal might be just the type of two-way player the Celtics have been missing.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images