The Boston Celtics may have signaled their intentions to make a move at the 2023 NBA trade deadline by dealing away veteran big man Noah Vonleh to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week, the Celtics now possessing an open roster spot they can use to absorb a player in a trade.
That could take the shape of the team using one of their larger traded player exceptions (TPE) or their injured player exception created by the loss of vet forward Danilo Gallinari, or even trading out a high-salaried player in exchange for two in return so long as the financials line up with CBA requirements.
Should Boston elect to eschew the buyout market and go for a trade, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has highlighted a trio of big men the Celtics might consider targeting — let’s take a look.
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A favorite hypothetical trade target here at the Celtics Wire, Buckley notes that Muscala is “shooting 37.2% from distance and producing per-36-minute averages of 15 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks”.
“If the Celtics make a move for a center … Muscala’s ability to space the floor and provide some level of paint protection could help him carve out a niche role.”
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“The 31-year-old may not be the biggest reason the Jazz have outperformed expectations this season, but he’s played a part in that success,” writes the B/R analyst.
“He’s been razor-sharp on the offensive end … 1/83.3 shooting and rounding out his stat sheet with 4.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 triples. As Boston’s third big, Olynyk could add new layers to this attack without forcing the team to sacrifice size.”
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Citing the ‘Wolves potential disinterest in paying Reid’s next deal given the players they have under contract, Buckley shares that the Minnesota forward’s “shooting rates from the field (54.6%) and from distance (36) are both the best of his career.”
“When Reid finds the floor, he typically leaves a huge imprint on the stat sheet despite seeing relatively little time on the hardwood (18.1 minutes per night). His per-36-minute averages of 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 3s, and 1.9 blocks … attest to that high activity level.”
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Based on talent and age alone, we’d easily go with Reid, especially considering that his $1.9 million deal makes moving for him simple in terms of making the salary matching work.
He’d likely cost a first-rounder if not more, but perhaps sending back a young talent like JD Davison or even Payton Pritchard might make the ask more palatable for both sides.
A Muscala swap also could work, but it’s less certain he’d be able to play at the level Boston needs at his age, and Olynyk makes too much to be a realistic target outside of a buyout.
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