Shams: Boston Celtics ‘definitely trying’ to get better ahead of ’24 NBA trade deadline

What are the Boston Celtics hoping to accomplish ahead of the NBA’s 2024 trade deadline? On one hand, with the league’s best record and the inside track to the 2024 NBA Finals opening up for them so long as health remains solid, there may be little reason to make aggressive or even minor moves.

On the other, if there is a season it makes sense to push in all their chips, it is probably this one. But how to thread the needle of a player good enough to warrant pulling the trigger on a deal, but also making a low enough amount of money to not break up Boston’s successful core of players?

The Celtics’ cap situation has many starting to guess the Celtics could simply stand pat at the deadline.

But The Athletic’s Shams Charania recently revealed on FanDuel’s “Run it Back” podcast that, despite sitting pretty in the East, that the Celtics “are definitely trying” to get better via trade.

“They have a couple of avenues. You can either go the trade route — they have a (traded) player exception as well at around $6.2 million they can use in a trade. The problem with the Celtics is they’re top six, seven deep — clearly top heavy — you think about their top six guys, probably the best six in terms of depth in the league.”

“But beyond that on their bench, they don’t have the salaries to go match out there (in trades) to go get a difference-making player that might be making $18, 20 million,” he explained.

Noting that this would restrict Boston to their $6.2 million exception, Charania related that Boston could “use a few of the guys on the bench in terms of salary matching” in a prospective deadline deal.

” I could also see them being a force in the buyout market,” he suggested. “You always see that after March 1. They do have picks they can trade, and this is clearly the season they have to go all-in. They have to figure out — could there be one more player to add?”

“I don’t know if that type of guy is out there, and playoff rotations do shrink come playoff time,” pondered the Athletic reporter.

For our part, we think it likely that Boston consolidates two rarely-played bench options to get them to a situation they might get floor time with perhaps a minor boost in terms of their own capabilities with a returning player.

Then, elevate Neemias Queta to a regular roster spot and add a buyout guy per Charania’s suggestion.

Not exactly fireworks, but this team does not need much.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire