NBA Trade Deadline Preview: Can Celtics Become Championship Contenders With Andre Drummond?

“Rebounding, defensive ability, and size at the center spot”.

Those are the three things the Boston Celtics need to add before the NBA Trade Deadline of February 8, according to the Celtics blog Hardwood Houdini.

It’s true that for all its successes this season, the Celtics have lacked a dominant rebounding center. Al Horford is a fine player but he isn’t the guy to snaffle rebounds, offensively and defensively, to the level that could cause the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets problems. If the Celtics make it that far in the playoffs.

Boston is probably ahead of schedule, especially having lost Gordon Hayward at the very start of the season. But with the Cavaliers treading water and LeBron James openly admitting that they could get bounced in the first round of the playoffs, Boston looks the favorite right now not just to do well in the Eastern Conference but to progress to the Finals against the best of the West. One or two additions would ease the pressure on a collection of star players—Kyrie Irving apart—with limited playoff experience.

There’s no point in making a trade, of course, if you’re going to give up too much in return or fail to improve upon what you already have. Celtics Blog, the, uh, Celtics blog, offers Lou Williams as a solution to the Celtics’ lack of scoring depth from the bench. But would the Clippers give up their prolific point-scoring guard when they have playoff aspirations of their own? “ Could Boston stand to improve? Certainly”, that same piece opines. “There’s room for Kyrie Irving to give up a few shots in favor of another player who can create off the dribble (or at least be a threat to do so).”

But there don’t exactly seem to be a plethora of guards out there whom teams might be willing to give up. Hardwood Houdini reckons the Celtics could go back to the big man idea by pursuing Andre Drummond. Drummond is the centerpiece of a Pistons team that’s only two games out of eighth place in the East, so he would require a hefty package in return. The suggestion here is for Boston to send Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, their conditional 2018 first-round draft pick from the Lakers plus Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes to Detroit to balance out the salaries.

Then again, with the best record in the East and a young, talented and improving roster, the Celtics are just as likely to sit tight before the deadline.