Goodman: Celtics' next move should be run at Lonzo Ball


There was plenty of reasons and reaction when it came to the Celtics' blockbuster trade involving Kemba Walker and Al Horford Friday morning.

But in the end, The Stadium's Jeff Goodman managed to sum up the reasoning behind the Celts' swap with Oklahoma City.

"You got one less sucky contract for another," Goodman said on the Greg Hill Show.

Goodman added, "Brad Stevens has coached Kemba, he has coached both, so he knows them well. I don’t know if either have a whole lot left in tank, but ultimately this gives you flexibility to go out and sign or trade for another point guard because frankly you can’t go in with this team. You have to have a high-level point guard to win in the NBA unless you just want to give the ball to Jayson Tatum and let him go to work. But you have to have a better point guard than what they have right now on the roster, which is what, Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard and Tremont Waters. That’s not going to get it done."

So, what now?

Goodman has a point guard in mind for the Celtics: Lonzo Ball.

Is it likely? Probably not. But it's not impossible, and -- skill-wise -- makes a whole lot of sense.

Ball, who went one pick in front of Jayson Tatum in the 2017 NBA Draft, is a restricted free agent, having played the last two seasons with New Orleans.

In 55 games with the Pelicans last season, Ball averaged 14.6 points and 5.7 assists per game, seeing his field goal percentage jump up to a career-best 41 percent (after managing just 36 percent as a rookie).

"A guy that I still say I would go after, and you guys might think I’m crazy here, but you surround him with enough guy who can score the ball, go after Lonzo Ball," Goodman said. "I mean he’s an elite level passer. He can guard. His shot has gotten better. I don’t know what he’s going to command on the market. He’s a restricted free agent. But that’s somebody I would absolutely look at. Knows how to play the game. And I know the Ball family … I love Lonzo. As a kid. Everything about Lonzo I love other than the fact that he’s not a great shooter. But you put him with guys who can shoot the ball, and that’s what you’re going to have to do if you’re Brad Stevens. I don’t know if you have enough shooting on the court if you bring in Lonzo, but if you bring in one more shooter and — I don’t know how the money would work — bring in a Lonzo Ball, he just makes people better and they haven’t had that for a while."

Besides the money, the one fly in the ointment when it comes to locking up Ball? His outspoken father, LaVar Ball.

"I don’t need to see him," Goodman said. "I don’t need to see Lavar around Boston. Forget everything. Strike everything I just said. Forget about it. I love Lonzo, but, yeah, I don’t need to deal with LaVar."