NBA mailbag: Should Celtics stars Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum be split up?

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Which struggling teams should have the most urgency to make major changes before the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET?

Let’s focus on a group of four teams currently outside the top nine in the standings in their respective conferences: the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings. The simplest argument this time of year is that these teams should “blow it up,” making major changes to their core.

Such an aggressive strategy makes more sense for some teams than others, so we’ll take a look at the cases and rank their need to make moves from highest to lowest.

Throughout the NBA season, I answer your questions about the latest, most interesting topics in basketball. You can tweet me directly at @kpelton. Tweet your questions using the hashtag #peltonmailbag or email them to [email protected]

This week’s mailbag also answers your questions about the Los Angeles Lakers’ place in the oldest-in-age rotations for a game in NBA history and context for Evan Fournier’s surprising dominance over the Boston Celtics this season after they allowed him to leave for the New York Knicks in free agency.

— Mike Richman

My pithy reply on Twitter was that the answer to this question is a product of the age of the teams’ stars, and one of these teams (the Blazers, with 31-year-old Damian Lillard and 30-year-old CJ McCollum) is not like the others. But let’s unpack that and rank the other three teams.

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