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Who could the Celtics trade? On Payton Pritchard, disabled player exception and more

Who could the Celtics trade? On Payton Pritchard, disabled player exception and more

The trade deadline is just over three weeks away, so let’s break down the odds Celtics they will cash in on their players and assets this season. Boston will be looking for a little more athleticism on the wings and potentially another multi-level playmaker, so who could they give up to make these changes?

The obvious candidate on this list, Pritchard has some reasons to welcome a change. He’s a little more than a year away from restricted free agency and turns 25 later this month. Jayson Tatum He’ll be halfway through his second contract when Pritchard begins his, and Pritchard is about a month older than Tatum.

A good sign of an unsustainable situation in the N.B.A it’s when your role diminishes from your rookie season, which has happened to Pritchard more by opportunity than ability. But he hasn’t grown his game enough to get the market excited about his potential in a bigger role, especially considering he’ll be nearing his prime once he hits free agency.

The three guards ahead of him on the depth chart are on long-term deals and Sam Hauser He’s generally held the two-point guard when coach Joe Mazzulla goes deeper into the bench, so most of Pritchard’s minutes come open when there’s an injury. There are teams that have more cap space for him and feel he can become a rotation player given that opportunity.

Same as with Aaron Nesmith i Romeo Langford, perhaps Pritchard can show signs of fulfilling his potential with a consistent role. That’s the downside of being drafted for a contender who manages to maneuver trades for veteran depth at the same time. That may be best for both parties, as Pritchard and his teammates have made it clear he deserves more opportunities elsewhere.

Verdict: Should be available.

Pritchard still has a year to audition, but the focus is on Grant Williams. He turned down a four-year extension offer before the season that would have guaranteed $48 million and come with additional incentives, aiming for $15 million to $20 million a year in restricted free agency.

But since the return of Rob Williams, Grant Williams’ game has taken a hit. For three weeks he didn’t play more than 30 minutes, he stopped closing out games and his rhythm just went off.

His 3-point percentage dropped from 46.5% in the first 28 games of the season to 29.3% in the 15 games since the other Williams returned. But he’s been forcing the issue lately, getting more aggressive attacking the rim and putting in big performances in wins against Dallas, Chicago i Brooklyn during the last two weeks.

Williams looked like he made a bright move when the season started and his offensive game had clearly transformed. But the consistency of the roles is affecting his market value, as most of this summer’s cap space belongs to lottery teams trying to figure out if Williams can become their leader through a rebuild if a bag is thrown at him.

He has reason to be dealt, but the Celtics are in a good position 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 has proven to be one of the best 3-and-D players coming off the bench in the League. It’s hard to improve on it, especially given its long-term growth potential. He is 24 years old and the Celtics have his playing rights.

Al Horford he’s making just $10 million next season, so there’s room on his luxury tax bill to give Williams the money he wants and even a starting spot. But Mazzulla has been starting Derrick White instead of Williams most of the time when there’s an opening, so re-signing Williams doesn’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 buy.

Brad Stevens was bold by building a backcourt rotation of combo big guards, all of whom are good at both ends but have one weak spot. The group has balanced out pretty well and two of the three seem to make an impact every night.

White and Malcolm Brogdon have been in business for two years. Don’t worry they’re about to be lame ducks, and the fit has worked so far. Marcus Smart and White seem to be more instrumental to the team’s success and often close out nights, but Brogdon has enough big games to take over the offense to make it clear why they want to keep him around when Tatum i Jaylen Brown inevitably hit a wall in the postseason.

This dynamic works and there is no reason to break it.

Verdict: Hold the fort unless something special happens.

Al Horford

Horford just signed a two-year, $19.5 million extension last month.

Verdict: Why do you ask?


Blake Griffin. (John E. Sokolowski / USA Today)

While Griffin has an actual role at times, he and Jackson are mostly there for the vibes. This team has maintained a strong locker room culture and these two are at the heart of it. Griffin is more instrumental because he works in some matchups and has a lot of veteran wisdom to impart, but either of those two could be used in a trade.

Verdict: Possible pieces that match the trade.

Jayson Tatum

Who would you even trade Tatum for at this point? The list is incredibly short. Or someone who recently won MVP or Luka Doncic. You would even change it Steph Curry or lebron james now? The Celtics have their dream player and he’s not going anywhere.

Verdict: LOL

Jaylen Brown

There is a hidden clause in the CBA that requires Brown to be in trade rumors every season. It’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 sell Brown for pieces.

The only impetus to move him now is if the front office thinks he won’t go All-NBA and would be seriously interested in leaving in unrestricted free agency in July 2024. If he makes All-NBA, he qualifies for to a supermax deal. which players rarely refuse. The concern is that if he declines this for any reason, the team knows he’s a flight risk and his trade market value will take a big hit.

The Celtics still have a monetary advantage if he were to hit free agency, but that would still be a huge risk to lose a top-tier talent for nothing when other fringe NBA players such as Rudy Gobert i Dejounte Murray made a fortune in the commercial market.

This is peak sales time for Brown. But why would they sell Brown high unless they think he can leave? The Celtics have a real shot at winning the title this season, and it’s hard to imagine them having a better shot at banner 18 than now with Brown at the helm.

Verdict: Going nowhere at the deadline. See you this summer.

It’s always been about availability over capacity with the Boston fuel hub. He’s basically making the mid-level exception for the next four seasons and would probably fetch twice as much 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 on and off the court that his value to the Celtics is far greater than another team; he’s likely scared off by his injury concerns. .

Verdict: Continue to develop Williams, but look for potential pivots next season.

Another shrewd move by the front office, Kornet has been considered for a few years as an underrated player the team wanted to keep. He’s proven his worth this year, resurrecting his NBA career with solid minutes and taking on a semblance of the Rob Williams role. The solo Kornet Kontests He’s worth keeping around, but he’s been a solid rim roller and floor spacer this year while playing good edge defense. For the 13th man on the roster, it’s been exactly what they hoped for this season.

Verdict: More than a contract, but clearly negotiable.

Sam Hauser

Finally, breaking into the rotation this year, Hauser has been pretty much what you’d expect. Smart player on both ends who can do a thing or two that makes him worth minutes, but not enough to get real playing time when he’s not burying his shots.

Brad Stevens gave him a multi-year contract this summer because he believed in what he saw in practice and in Maine. Hauser started so hot that he had too much room to fall. He’ll be fine in the end, and he still doesn’t have enough value in the league to get anything valuable that reflects his potential as a rotation player.

Verdict: Not yet.

While he could still provide value next season, this team is deep enough in the tax that it will likely prefer to use Gallinari over a trade exception if a deal is struck. He could be useful next season, but at his age and after such a major injury, the Celtics will likely try to find someone else with the average level of contributor.

The Celtics could use another big wing who can impact the game with athleticism or ball skills, the latter of which should be Gallinari’s job.

Verdict: Likely trade piece.

Disabled player exception

When Gallinari went down for the year, the team received a $3.3 million DPE because he is expected to be out for the season. This can be used as a trade exception or free agent chip, allowing them to take someone off the buyout market for more than the prorated minimum until March 10th.

The Celtics will have to pay luxury taxes on anyone they sign for more than the minimum this season, so they’re not likely to throw as much as possible at someone who will be on the fringes of the playoff rotation. But then there’s the $6.9 million Juancho Hernangomez the traded player exception (TPE) that expires on January 19 and the $5.9 million Dennis Schroeder TPE that lasts until the due date.

The Schröder TPE is the most likely to be used as the Hernangomez TPE expires on Thursday. Usually deals made this early are for financial positioning 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.

Marcus Smart

Saving the latest trade rumor machine and oldest Celtic for last. The rough edges have softened his offensive game a bit this year and he’s taken the next step as a dynamic playmaker. Smart isn’t a traditional point guard who will only face one starting spot, but he packs dimes in a more diverse variety than almost any of his peers at the position.

The Celtics have completely calibrated themselves around his skill set to the point where no one seems to care that he’s right at 33 percent from deep for the third straight season. Hey, at least it’s remarkably consistent. Smart won Defensive Player of the Year last season and is in the top 10 in the league in assists per game, but he’s only making $17.2 million in the first year of his extension. She wants to be a Celtic for life and there’s no reason at this point to assume she won’t be.

Verdict: Love and Trust.

(Top photo: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)





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