The trade deadline is less than three weeks away, so let’s find out how likely the Celtics are to cash in on their players and assets this offseason. Boston will be looking for more athleticism on the wings and possibly another versatile playmaker, so who can they give up to make those changes?
An obvious candidate for this list, Pritchard has several reasons to welcome the trade. He is a little over a year away from restricted free agency and turns 25 later this month. Jayson Tatum will be halfway through his second contract when Pritchard begins his, and Pritchard is about a month older than Tatum.
A good sign of an unstable situation in the NBA is when your role declines from your rookie season, which happened to Pritchard more because of opportunity than ability. But he hasn’t developed his game enough to get the market excited about his potential in a bigger role, especially considering he’ll be nearing his prime when he hits free agency.
The three guards ahead of him on the depth chart are on long-term deals, with Sam Hauser holding down the two spots overall as coach Joe Mazzulla digs deeper into the bench, so most of Pritchard’s minutes come when injured. happens. There are teams that have more room for him and feel he can develop into a rotation player with that opportunity.
As with Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford, perhaps Pritchard can show signs of fulfilling his potential in a consistent role. That’s the downside of drafting a contender while also being able to trade for veteran depth. This could be for the best for both parties, as Pritchard and his teammates have shown he deserves more chances elsewhere.
Verdict: Must be available.
Pritchard still has a year to audition, but the spotlight is on Grant Williams. He turned down a four-year extension offer before the season that would have guaranteed $48 million and would have brought additional incentives with a goal of between $15 million and $20 million per year in restricted free agency.
But Grant Williams’ game has taken a hit since the return of Rob Williams. He didn’t play more than 30 minutes for three weeks, stopped closing out games, and his rhythm was just off.
His 3-point percentage dropped from 46.5 percent in the first 28 games of the season to 29.3 percent in the 15 games since the other Williams returned. But he’s been forcing the issue lately, attacking the rim more aggressively and coming up with big performances in wins over Dallas, Chicago and Brooklyn over the past two weeks.
Williams looked like a brilliant gamble when the season started and his offensive game has clearly changed. But the consistency of roles is taking its toll on his market value, with much of this summer’s cap space owned by lottery teams trying to figure out if Williams can become their leader through a rebuild if they bag him.
He’s due for a deal, but the Celtics are in good shape for his free agency. Their main need right now is athletic wing/forward depth, and while Williams may not have the length or dangerous vertical, he’s proven to be one of the best 3-and-D players coming off the bench in the league. It’s hard to improve on him, especially given his long-term growth potential. He’s 24 years old and the Celtics have his due.
Al Horford is only making $10 million next season, so there is room on their luxury tax bill to give Williams the money he wants and possibly even a starting spot. But Mazzulla has started in place of Derrick White for Williams most of the time, so re-signing Williams won’t guarantee he’ll be the starting four. It’s a tough spot for both sides, but market conditions should allow them to work something out this summer.
Verdict: The Celtics should listen, but not shop.
Brad Stevens has been boldly building a backcourt rotation of big combo guards, all of whom are good on both ends but have a weakness. The band has balanced itself out pretty well and two of the three seem to make an impact every night.
White and Malcolm Brogdon have two years left on their deals. There is no concern that they will be lame ducks and the fit has worked so far. Marcus Smart and White seem to play a bigger role in the team’s success and often close out the night, but Brogdon has enough big games to take over the offense to show why they want to keep him when Tatum and Jaylen Brown inevitably hit the wall. the postseason.
This dynamic works and there is no reason to destroy it.
Verdict: Hold the fort unless something special happens.
Horford signed a two-year, $19.5 million extension last month.
Verdict: Why do you even ask?
While Griffin occasionally plays a real role, he and Jackson are mostly there for vibes. This team has maintained a strong locker room culture, and these two are at the center of that. Griffin has a bigger role as he works some matchups and has a lot of veteran wisdom to impart, but either of these two could be used in a trade.
Verdict: Possible trade matching pieces.
Who would you trade Tatum for right now? The list is incredibly short. Either someone who recently won the MVP or Luka Doncic. Now, would you trade him for Steph Curry or LeBron James? The Celtics have a dream player and he isn’t going anywhere.
There is a hidden clause in the CBA that requires Brown to be in trade rumors every season. That’s the curse of being a star next to another star who can reliably run the offense. It’s incredibly unlikely that someone of Brown’s caliber will hit the market in the next month, and the Celtics aren’t in a place to trade Brown for parts.
The only incentive to move him now is if the front office thinks he’s not going to be All-NBA and has serious interest in leaving in unrestricted free agency in July 2024. that players rarely refuse. The concern is that if he turns it down for whatever reason, the team knows he’s a flight risk and his trade market value will take a big hit.
The Celtics still have a cash advantage if he hits free agency, but it would still be a big risk to lose a blue-chip talent when every other NBA fringe player like Rudy Gobert and Dejounte Murray has made a fortune. trade market.
This is Brown’s highest selling point. But why would they sell high on Brown if they don’t think he can leave? The Celtics have a real shot at a title this season, and it’s hard to imagine they’ll ever have a better chance at the 18th banner than they do now with Brown at the helm.
Verdict: Not going anywhere on deadline. See you this summer.
Boston’s burning downtown has always been about access and opportunity. He’s basically a middle-of-the-pack exception for the next four seasons, and he’d likely fetch double on the market even with his injury history. The only reason to move him is if they can find another starting center, but Williams fits this team so well both on and off the court that his value to the Celtics is far greater than to another team; .
Verdict: Continue to develop Williams, but look for potential pivots during the upcoming season.
Another shrewd move by the front office, Cornette had been talked about for several years as an underrated player the team wanted to keep. He showed his worth this year by reviving his NBA career with solid minutes and embracing the Rob Williams role. Kornet Kontests alone is worth surrounding him, but he’s been solid on the rim and through the floor this year while playing good defense on the wing. For the 13th man on the roster, he’s been exactly what they’ve been hoping for this season.
Verdict: More than just a contract, but clearly marketable.
Finally breaking into the rotation this year, Hauser has been exactly what you’d expect. A smart player on both ends who can do one or two things that make him worth minutes, just not enough to get real playing time when he’s not burying his shots.
Brad Stevens signed him to a multi-year deal this summer because he believed what he saw in practice and at Maine. Hauser got off to such a hot start that he had plenty of room to fall. He’ll be fine eventually and doesn’t have enough value around the league yet to get anything of value that reflects his potential as a rotation player.
Verdict: Not quite yet.
While he could still provide value next season, this team is far enough from the tax line that it would likely prefer to use Gallinari over the trade exception if they make a deal. He could be useful next season, but at his age and coming off this major injury, the Celtics will likely look to find someone else in the mid-tier of the Taxpayers.
The Celtics could use another big wing who can impact the game with either athleticism or the ball, the latter of which should be Gallinari’s case.
Verdict: Probable trade.
Disabled Player Exception
When Gallinari went down for the year, the team received $3.3 million in DPE because he is expected to be out for the season. This could be used as a trade exception or free agent chip, allowing them to write someone off the buyout market for more than just the prorated minimum before March 10th.
The Celtics will have to pay the luxury tax on anyone they sign above the minimum this offseason, so they likely can’t dump as much as possible on someone on the fringes of the playoff rotation. But then there’s Juancho Hernangomez’s traded player exception (TPE), which expires on Jan. 19, and the $5.9 million Dennis Schroeder TPE, which lasts until deadline day.
Schröder TPE is most likely to be used as Hernangomez TPE expires on Thursday. Usually, these early trades are designed to position themselves financially before the deadline, but the Celtics already started that process when they traded Noah Vonleh to San Antonio in the first week of the year.
Verdict: Save for the shopping season!
Keeping the ultimate trade rumor machine and the longest-running Celtic ever. The rough edges smoothed out his offensive game a bit this year, and he took that next step as a dynamic playmaker. Smart isn’t a traditional point guard who’s going to just run high and shoot, but he packs a punch in a more diverse array than any of his peers at the position.
The Celtics have completely out-calculated his skills to the point that no one seems to care that he’s shooting 33 percent for the third straight season. Well, at least he is remarkably consistent. Smart was the Defensive Player of the Year last season and is in the top 10 in assists per game, but he is making just $17.2 million in the first year of his extension. He wants to be a Celtic for life, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be at this point.
Verdict: love and trust.
(Top photo by Brian Fluhart/Getty Images)