Boston Celtics: 3 Second-Half Stories to Follow,The Celtics and the NBA Trade Deadline
This year’s trade deadline is February 8, eight days before All-Star Weekend. Despite the Celtics currently owning the best record in the NBA, they may still be in the trade market. Recently, GM Brad Stevens said he is looking for a “big wing” ahead of the deadline. However, the Celtics have very little financial flexibility and a lack of “trade resources” to make a big splash. Even so, Stevens has a $6.2 million TPE from the Grant Williams sign-and-trade. A few NBA players are floating around in rumors which may intrigue the Celtics, and it should be interesting to see if Stevens makes a deal for any of them.
Backup Center Battle
The battle between Luke Kornet and Neemias Queta has been interesting this season. As it stands, Kornet has gotten more of an opportunity this season than Queta has. So far, Kornet has appeared in 28 games, 13 more than Queta. Plus, Kornet has started two games, while Queta has not started any. Statistically, the two big men are comparable. Kornet averages 4.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks over 14.8 minutes per game. Queta averages 4.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks over 13.5 minutes per game.
With Queta on a two-way contract, he’ll likely play spotty minutes unless his contract gets converted to a standard one. Both players have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they’ve each played enough good basketball for a spot in the Celtics’ rotation behind Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford. This is a notable position battle that could determine who gets playoff minutes. For now, it will be worth keeping an eye on what head coach Joe Mazzulla has planned for the two centers.
How Far Can This Dominance Go?
The Celtics are playing amazing basketball and look like a clear top-three team in the NBA. Boston is on pace to win 64 games this season, the most since their 2007-08 NBA championship season. It looks like nobody in the NBA can stop the Celtics’ players right now. It’s not a stretch to say this is the best version of the Celtics since the 2008 championship team. In fact, depending on how they finish the next 41+ games, this team could go down in NBA history.
The first half of the season went as well as Celtics fans could have asked for. Only time will tell if the second half of the season can bring the same type of success in the hunt for championship banner No. 18.