A lot this offseason has been made of the possibility of the Celtics trading the for Paul George and teaming up with Isaiah Thomas and the rest of the Celtics to try to topple current kings of the east; Lebron and the Cavs. What If instead of wearing Celtic green Isaiah and PG13 make a run at Lebron wearing Pacer blue?
Paul George has been quite vocal about his desire to compete for an NBA championship, but he has also professed his love for Indiana and the Pacer organization, saying in a February interview, “I want to be the first to bring a championship to Indiana. So that’s still on my mind … and something I definitely want to achieve in Indiana.”
Bringing in an All-NBA second team player be enough to persuade him to stay? It’s no secret the Pacers want PG13 to stay and bringing in Isaiah might be the best way to do it. A trade like this makes sense for Boston as it is going to have monster cap issues and a log jam at the guard positions when they presumably draft Markelle Fultz and IT, Avery Bradley’s and Marcus Smart’s contracts all are up after the 2018 season.
Trading Isaiah Thomas helps the Celtics keep most of their core intact and play Markelle Fultz at his primary position as he develops. It also gives Indiana the chance to show Paul George they are serious about being championship contenders.
In this trade, the Celtics get Myles Turner who is starting to look like a potential future all-star in Indiana after averaging 14.5 points 7.3 reb and 2.1 blocks a game in only 31 minutes a game. He also is signed to a very team-friendly contract for the next 3 years and would provide them with the flexibility to resign Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. Turner might not seem like enough in return for a second team All-NBA player but Turner gives the Celtics what they need most. Rebounding and rim protection, he also is a capable jump shooter which is something Brad Stevens loves to see in his big men. A Celtics core built around Markelle Fultz, Jaylen Brown, Myles Turner and the 2018 Nets pick would be one that could possibly set them up to contend for the next decade, especially with the role players that they already have in place.
The harsh reality is that the Celtics don’t have the talent to beat the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers anytime soon. Trading Isaiah and building around this new core would allow these young players to develop and as they are entering their primes. Their ascension would most likely coincide with the decline of the current versions of the Warriors and Cavs. Boston isn’t a sports town that hangs Eastern Conference finals banners, its championship or bust. Even with an addition like Gordon Hayward or Blake Griffin this Celtics team’s ceiling is still Eastern Conference champions, and frankly, that just isn’t enough for Boston fans. This trade would set up both the Pacers and Celtics for long term success, so who says no?