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Getty Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Tristan Thompson #13 and Daniel Theis #27 after scoring against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter.

The Boston Celtics continue to be intertwined in trade talks ahead of March 25th’s deadline. Sitting at .500 with just six games remaining until the All-Star break, many expect “trade Danny” to be in full effect over the next month as the season looks to be on the verge of slipping away from the once-perceived title contenders.

One of Boston’s most glaring holes on their roster is in their frontcourt. Offseason free-agent acquisition Tristan Thompson, while better as of late, has failed to live up to expectations since arriving in Massachusetts. Robert Williams has impressed but is still handicapped by the team’s reluctance to hand him big minutes.

Then there’s Daniel Theis.

The Celtics’ big leads the team in total blocks with 84. Plus, his shooting ability from deep (38.7% 3-point percentage) makes him a serviceable floor-spacer in Boston’s offense. In fact, as recently as just a few games ago, Theis was one of just three players (including Nikola Jokic and Christian Woods) to be shooting 55% from the field and 40% from three.

Yet, despite the bright spots in Theis’ game, the position as a whole is stunted in terms of upside. In return, the 28-year-old is widely considered expendable if Boston were presented with the right deal…and Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes may have just stumbled upon one. 

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Celtics Land Nikola Vucevic in 3-Team Trade Proposal

Surprise, surprise, the Celtics are once again linked to Orlando Magic’s center Nikola Vucevic. As part of Hughes’ four blockbuster trades that would “blow up the 2021 deadline,” the 2019 All-Star selection makes his way to Boston as part of a three-team deal that also includes the New York Knicks, a number of draft picks and Daniel Theis being shipped out of town.

Here’s the proposed trade in its entirety:

Boston Celtics Receive:

  • Nikola Vucevic
  • 2023 second-round pick (top-40 protected via New York Knicks)

Orlando Magic Receive:

  • 2023 first-round pick
  • 2025 first-round pick (unprotected via Boston Celtics)

New York Knicks Receive:

  • Daniel Theis

While Hughes notes that there are other potential ways to get Vooch to Boston, he believes this proposal is by far “the cleanest.” The B/R columnist envisions the star big-man as a massive offensive boost to further expand the Celtics’ odds of appearing in meaningful games deep into the postseason. Furthermore, moving off of Theis (and potentially Tristan Thompson) would free up added minutes for Robert Williams as the team’s primary reserve big.

Theis is a quality big man, but Vucevic would obviously be the starter in Boston, and Robert Williams III should get the backup minutes. Grant Williams still gives the Celtics a small-ball 5 option, so Theis is expendable. Tristan Thompson should probably be atop Boston’s list of trade candidates, as well. He’s been a disappointment.

Big picture, Boston needs a jolt. It’s 15-15 and owns a ho-hum offense that continues to stagnate in the clutch. Throw Vucevic in there and suddenly Boston would have a stretch option who can also work as a hub at the elbows. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown would have several new and exciting late-game scoring avenues with a true All-Star-level offensive weapon at the 5.

Boston would run into defensive issues against the best teams in the playoffs, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If the Celtics want to play meaningful games deep into the postseason, they’ve got to get themselves in a better position right now. That’ll require an offensive boost, and Vucevic would provide it in a big way.

Orlando Reluctant to Trade Vucevic?

The 30-year-old center is in the midst of a monster season. The 6-foot-11-inch USC product is averaging a career-high 24.1 ppg to go along with 11.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Furthermore, his 40.3% shooting from beyond the arc marks a personal best over his 10-year NBA career, a number that likely has Danny Ainge salivating.

Moving off of such production would certainly give any team pause, as is reportedly the case with Orlando. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, league executives have stated that the Magic have shown “no interest in moving Vucevic.” O’Connor also added that Vucevic, the current centerpiece of the team’s offense,  is a “favorite” of Steve Clifford’s coaching staff. 

With that said, Orlando currently sits in 12th-place in the Eastern Conference, while two of their top young talents in Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac have been ravaged by injury. Simply put, as things sit today, the Magic are not a playoff contender with Vucevic in the picture, making things awfully interesting as trade talks heat up over the next month. 

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News Source: Heavy.com

Tags: basketball nba breaking news 5 fast facts crime politics shopping the celtics’ the celtics’ the team’s the boston celtics the boston celtics tristan thompson first round pick robert williams new york knicks nikola vucevic vucevic the celtics moving off orlando magic boston jayson tatum against trade talks

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Swiss Voters to Decide Ban on Facial Coverings

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss voters are deciding on a far-right proposal to ban facial coverings as they take to the polls on Sunday in a binding referendum viewed as a test of attitudes toward Muslims.

The proposal under the Swiss system of direct democracy does not mention Islam directly and also aims to stop violent street protesters from wearing masks, yet local politicians, media and campaigners have dubbed it the burqa ban.

Opinion polls have suggested the measure could pass narrowly and the ban would become law.

"In Switzerland, our tradition is that you show your face. That is a sign of our basic freedoms," Walter Wobmann, chairman of the referendum committee and a member of parliament for the Swiss People's Party, had said before the vote.

He called facial covering "a symbol for this extreme, political Islam which has become increasingly prominent in Europe and which has no place in Switzerland".

The proposal predates the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen all adults forced to wear masks in many settings to prevent the spread of infection. It gathered the necessary support to trigger a referendum in 2017.

The proposal compounded Switzerland's tense relationship with Islam after citizens voted in 2009 to ban building any new minarets. Two cantons already have local bans on face coverings.

(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by Louise Heavens)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

Tags: Switzerland, Islam, Europe

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