We are a little over a month away from the NBA trade deadline, the happiest time of the year. Rumors start to circulate and make their rounds on the internet, and some of the biggest names in basketball can be thrown around. A player that certainly could be on his way out by February 7 is Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic.
Nikola’s name has been thrown around the rumor mill for years. The once young prospect who signed a 4 year/$53M contract back in 2014 is now in the prime of his career in Orlando. Averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds on 53% shooting on the year, Vucevic is destined to make his first All-Star appearance this season. Another stat for you: he’s averaging a steal and a block a game while shooting nearly 38% from three. He’s evolved his game over the past few seasons and truly made a name for himself.
Vucevic is currently making an astonishing $12.8M this season but is on the last year of his contract. Like I mentioned before, Vucevic’s name has been swirling around the rumor mill for years, but this may be the year he finally gets traded. His contract makes it so much easier for teams, playoff contenders especially, to make a deal for the big man.
Speaking of playoff contenders, how about them C’s? Whether it’s another guard, bench player, or starting center, they need help. Nikola Vucevic would fit in with the Celtics, I believe. The Celtics would be almost guaranteed a double-double every game, and his defense would improve while in Boston under Coach Stevens.
An ideal trade package for the Magic big man would most likely have to include Terry Rozier. Hearing that name may upset some fans, but let’s be honest here: Terry Rozier most likely won’t be a Boston Celtic next season. That pains me to say since I’ve been a huge Scary Terry supporter over the years, but acquiring Vucevic would improve this roster. Plus, I feel the Magic would love to talk trades with Boston since they need a point guard for the future. Terry could fill that role for them. Add in Yabu and Baynes and this may be a done deal.
So even if the Celtics don’t re-sign Vucevic this offseason, does it really matter considering the player we traded away for him wouldn’t be re-signed anyways? That’s where I’m coming from, and that’s why I feel this trade makes sense for both sides. I’m not the biggest fan of rental deals, but this makes sense to do. The Magic get a starting PG, and the Celtics get an All-Star center who may or may not re-sign in the offseason, but would give the team a much-needed boost for the remainder of this season.
Will the Celtics pull off a deal for Nikola Vucevic? Maybe, maybe not. This is only a theory, but if the team wants to improve and give themselves new life for the second half of the year, this may be the trade they have to look to get done.