By: Leor Handelsman
Ever since we traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets in 2013 for plentiful high draft picks, our future looked promising. Since then, we have traded for Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, signed Al Horford, and drafted Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, therefore providing excellent, young talent. Although our balanced team is playing great, currently third place in the conference, we are no match against powerhouse teams such as the Cleveland, Toronto, Golden State or San Antonio. You simply can not compete for the title when your three best players are Thomas, Crowder, and Horford. There is only one team in history that has won the title without a first team all NBA player on the roster: The 2004 Pistons. But even though we do not have that superstar on our roster, we have the assets to trade for one. In the 2013 deal with the nets, we landed their 2017 first rounder, which is most likely going to be the first or second overall pick in the draft. Looking forward, there are two standout players that will most likely go first and second overall: Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. The only problem: They are both point guards, the one position that the Celtics don’t need. In order to get the best value out of that pick, we need to trade it for a superstar.
Celtics’ general manager, Danny Ainge’s next task is to find that superstar. The few big-time players that have just begun their primes are the following: Anthony Davis, (who is locked into a contract until 2021 and is pretty much untradable), Jimmy Butler (the Bulls have made it clear that he is going nowhere), and Paul George (same situation as Butler). At this point, the Celtics are almost desperate to make a big splash soon. However, there is one player left. Demarcus (Boogie) Cousins. Although very few people have noticed, Boogie has been one of the best centers in NBA history. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably laughing and thinking that Jed Shugerman’s 15 year old child is insane. How could anyone compare a guy that has never made the playoffs to legends like Shaq, Chamberlain, and Kareem?
Well get ready, because I’m about to throw some crazy stats at you. In his first six seasons, Cousins averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. Only two other players in the history of the NBA have put up those numbers in their first 6 seasons: David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon. Even if we take away the steals category, only 11 players have accomplished what Cousins has done, and they are all either Hall of famers or soon to be. This season, Boogie Cousins is averaging 28 points a game, and overall, his stats have improved all around. Also, Cousins will fit into the Celtics’ unselfish offense immediately, and is the perfect example of a guy you can build your team around. Somehow, despite having teammates that completely lack talent, Cousins has averaged 3 assists a game, and that number rises every year. His shooting range is also excellent for a big man. He surprised basketball fans everywhere when he made 73 shots from downtown in just 65 games, last season. This year, Cousins is shooting 37% from deep, and is knocking down almost 2 three-pointers a game. Cousins would be a wonderful addition to the Celtics roster.
The Celtics need to made an impact now. Piling up draft picks is a good strategy that has gotten them into the great place that they are in now. But at some point, we need to turn those unpromising assets into an all-star that will help our team. But why are the Celtics waiting? What player is going to come their way who has more talent then Demarcus Cousins? It takes a couple years to turn a 2017 draft pick into a star, but we never know whether Isaiah, Crowder, or Bradley will be gone by then. Trading for Cousins would make the Celtics an instant contender and potentially bring a banner home to TD Garden.