The Celtics’ big acquisition this past off-season was a big man in Al Horford, but the C’s are absolutely stillan undersized squad. As ESPN.com’s Chris Forsberg pointed out, the Celtics are the shortest team in the league with an average height of 78.2 inches. In turn, the C’s are often burned on the boards and one could easily make the case that the Celtics are worst “good” team in the NBA when it comes to rebounding. As of Wednesday, they were 22nd in the league in team rebounding – floating around lowly teams like the Lakers and 76ers in that category.
So where will help come from?
There’s not a chance trigger-happy Danny Ainge doesn’t make some sort of trade between now and February to help shore up the front court. Lucky for Boston, two of the biggest potential names on the trade block in the coming months stand 6-foot-11 inches or taller.
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The C’s have been linked to both of these guys seemingly forever, but this could finally be the season in which a blockbuster transaction goes down.
A look at the odds Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins or Philadelphia’s Jahlil Okafor wind up in Boston.
Here is what ESPN.com had to say about Cousins’ situation last week.
“Sacramento is determined to make the playoffs this season, or at least a credible playoff run, which somewhat compels the Kings to keep their best player. But the reality is that Cousins has only one season left on his current contract after this one. If the Kings keep him beyond Feb. 23, they better be sure they can re-sign him, because they’re sure to fetch less in return for Expiring Contract Boogie.”
The Sporting News also had an interesting piece before the season began about a potential Cousins trade to Boston, in which it portrayed Isaiah Thomas as one of the few players in the league that can getthe often aloof Boogie to toe the line.
“If he came to Boston that would be good, really good,” said ‘Tampering’ Thomas. “The thing is, I’ve got his respect. I’ve always had that.”
Cousins has been his typical self this season, filling his stat line with ease. He’s averaging 26.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per season so far.
But also staying true is the Kings’ inability to win consistently. Sacramento is 2-3 so far this season, with losses to the Heat, Hawks and Spurs. They’ve beaten Minnesota and Phoenix. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row to start the year, and the Kings are a team that desperately needed to get off to a hot start. We’re only a week into the season, but a playoff berth remains an iffy proposition in Sacramento.
Odds Cousins will be dealt this season: 10/1
The Sixers royally screwed up when it comes to Okafor. The right move would have been to trade him on draft night this past summer (there were rumors of a straight up Okafor for the No. 3 overall pick with the Celtics).
With Joel Embiid looking like a Philly savior early on this season and with Nerlens Noel having emerged as a defensive stopper for the young Sixers – Okafor is clearly the third wheel in the frontcourt.
The rest of the NBA knows this, and Okafor’s trade value has never been lower. Hell, theCeltics could likely get Okafor for Marcus Smart straight-up at this point. The question is, would they even want to?
Three months ago, the Celts had reservations about trading for the former Duke star. Can’t imagine their mindset has changed all that much.
Odds Okafor will be dealt this season: 6/1