If you believe everything you read on the internet, the Celtics are desperate to work out a trade for a superstar (any superstar!) this year. First, the rumor mill indicated that Boston might be willing to part ways with a bunch of their young players—and a couple of the draft picks they’ve stockpiled away in recent years—in exchange for Russell Westbrook. That obviously didn’t work out. Then, the rumor mill indicated that the Celtics might try and make a play for Blake Griffin. That rumor actually included a separate rumor that had the Kings getting involved in a potential deal and trading Rudy Gay to the Clippers to replace Griffin. But that obviously didn’t work out, either. And now, the rumor mill is indicating that the Celtics might be interested in trying to work out a trade with the Warriors that would land them Klay Thompson.
Former Celtics player/current Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio’s "The Starting Lineup" on Monday, and he suggested that he’s heard a rumor about how Thompson could be shipped to Boston in exchange for Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and the Nets’ first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. According to the rumor Scalabrine heard, Golden State would then flip that pick in exchange for a big man who could give them a better inside presence than they have now.
Sound crazy? Well, it is, and we wouldn’t really count on it happening. But Scalabrine made a compelling case for why it might not be the worst idea in the world while talking with New York Daily News writer Frank Isola on SiriusXM this morning. Here’s what they had to say about the rumor:
BS: I heard, this weekend, I heard Klay Thompson might be available. That can’t be true.
FI: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...
BS: Yeah, I heard. [Laughs] Yes.
FI: Why would you trade him?
BS: I don’t know. I don’t understand why [the Warriors] would. But maybe they’re on what I’m on. It’s going to be impossible to win championships without having rim protection against LeBron [James] and Kyrie [Irving]. So who’s your most valuable asset? Or who’s your most unneeded asset at this point? I don’t know, but I heard that rumor going around. And it was specifically to a team that wears green.
FI: Who’s your big rim protector? Amir Johnson?
BS: No, no. But it would involve a pick, which you, at that point, could move the pick for somebody else. You get [Jae] Crowder, [Avery] Bradley, two tough guys that would add to their team and add to their toughness. And then you get the pick and the pick turns into, you know, whatever.
FI: Has that been written anywhere?
BS: I think it has been. I’m not making this up. I think it has been written.
FI: Klay Thompson for Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and a first-round pick.
BS: And Brooklyn’s [first-round pick].
FI: It’s actually not a terrible trade for Golden State.
BS: No, they get better in a different way. They just can’t get to the point where they’re going to need Klay, like in the OKC [series in the NBA Playoffs last season]. Bradley or Crowder cannot provide what Klay did in that Game 6 against Oklahoma City.
FI: But they’re thinking, "We got enough offense with the two big guns."
BS: Yes. "We need to get our toughness up." Bradley is on for, let me think about this, this year and next year. Crowder is for the next four years. And then you take this pick and you move it and you try to get some type of legitimate younger shot-blocking center. I think you might be able to do that. You might be able to move the Brooklyn pick, which is going to be a top-five pick, for a shot-blocking center.
FI: Boy, a backcourt of Isaiah Thomas and Klay Thompson, that would be interesting. That would mean that the Warriors would no longer have the best backcourt in the league. It would probably be either Portland or the Celtics, and maybe [the Warriors] would be third, because Steph Curry is still dynamite.
BS: And, you know, if you look at the stats, Klay Thompson is a fantastic defensive player, but Avery Bradley rates higher against Kyrie Irving. If you wanted to thin-slice them out and say, 'Who is better at guarding Kyrie Irving?' Klay would fall into that category. I’m sorry, Bradley would fall into that category. Klay Thompson does a much better job on guys like James Harden and those bigger, stronger [players like] DeMar DeRozan. But for Kyrie Irving, if that’s like your goals, that seems like a really interesting way to go. And you get Jae Crowder. It’s one of those things that sounds like a plus-plus, like both teams sort of get better.
Recent history has shown that this rumor will most likely blow over just like the rest of the rumors involving the Celtics. And we should point out that Scalabrine already appears to have backed off of it:
But could you actually see this happening, and do you think it’d be a worthwhile trade for both teams involved? If the Warriors are actually going to try and trade Thompson away, we like this deal better.