The Boston Celtics now have a solid starting unit of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson and Al Horford. What the team lacks is a dependable sixth man.
One player they can get in the trade market is Denver Nuggets small forward Wilson Chandler. The 29-year-old Benton Michigan native is a human Swiss army knife with a well-rounded game. He would be an upgrade over backup forwards Jaylen Brown and Jonas Jerebko.
According to Nugg Love, trading for Chandler would allow the Celtics to significantly improve its bench while still keeping its formidable starting five. The team can acquire him in exchange for the contracts of Brown and Jerebko.
In Boston, Chandler would become the eastern conference counterpart of Andre Iguodala. He will be the energy guy off the bench. Like Iguodala, Chandler is a versatile scorer who can play multiple positions. He can’t carry a team on his own, but he can be a valuable contributor on a contending team.
The 2014-15 season was his best statistical campaign with the Nuggets. That year, he averaged 13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 78 games, ESPN reported.
Last November, he was ruled out for the rest of the 2015-16 season due to a labral tear in his right hip. He immediately underwent surgery and is now busy recuperating.
The uncertainty of his condition could push the Nuggets to trade him midway through next season. Chandler is expected to make a full recovery, but another setback would drastically decrease his trade value. If the Nuggets want to get quality pieces in exchange for Chandler, the team should consider trading him sooner rather than later.
A deal with the Celtics would make sense. The Nuggets would receive a serviceable stretch four in Jerebko and a potential superstar in Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics are in win-now mode. Brown, who was crowned Mr. Georgia Basketball in 2015, isn’t expected to have a breakout season for at least another two years. Even if he blossoms into an elite talent, the Celtics won’t have enough cap room to retain him.
The Celtics might face the same dilemma the Oklahoma City Thunder had with James Harden. It would be best to trade Brown now than seeing him walk away for nothing in the future.