Trading for all-stars has been a thing heavily for the past few years in the NBA. Players are having more freedom on where they choose to sign to allowing them more power. And as the Boston Celtics struggles seem to continue, trade rumors and signings speculations are arising. However, when looking back in history, it rarely goes well for the Celtics.
Trading For All-Stars History
The last all-star to sign with the Celtics with championship experience was Kyrie Irving from 2017-2019. For two seasons Irving averaged over 20 points and was an offensive spectacle to watch. Unfortunately, due to injuries, he never played a full season and then went off to Brooklyn to join Kevin Durant. His tenure with the Celtics was a short-lived yet predictable one. In that 2017-2018 season, the Celtics managed to go to the eastern conference finals with the young guys they had. Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown. It appeared the core that Stevens was looking for was already there without the all-star from Cleveland.
Fast forward to just before this season, Gordon Hayward decided to leave to join the Charlotte Hornets. Playing in a bigger role, Hayward began to take the back seat in the Celtics organization to Tatum and Brown. And similar to Kyrie, when Hayward was out to injury missing practically the entire playoffs, the Celtics young guys made it to the conference finals.
A Time When It Worked
Despite the times when it didn’t work, Ainge did indeed find himself having success with this formula. When the Celtics acquired the big 3 (Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett) they ended up winning only 1 championship in 2008. Making 2 Final appearances, many would find that period in history to have worked. But just look at what it took; three future Hall of Famers. One of which is a former MVP, the other a Celtic all-time great, and a top 5 shooter ever. This time when it did work was extreme with remarkable players well above all-star caliber.
It’s shown that the most effective way of the Celtics development is through young guys they draft. Tatum and Brown are undoubtedly the frontrunners on the team to hold that title. And with other youngsters like Payton Pritchard and Robert Williams, things look bright.
Now with the Celtics in the middle of the pack in the east many are speculating of trading for better players. Right now they have Kemba Walker who’s showing to be still bothered by his injury. Marcus Smart has been out for some time now; a guy who’s known for being the igniter in this team. One thing is for certain, some changes should indeed be happening by Ainge. But when looking at recent history, trading for all-stars may not be the best way to go. It may just end up being the same cycle.