It’s no secret the Boston Celtics will be active in the trade market this season. In fact, Brad Stevens has already made a trade, sending Noah Vonleh to the Spurs for a future conditional second round pick.
This move wasn’t breaking news, but it shows the team that Stevens is always looking to make an upgrade when he can, similar to last season when he acquired Derrick White at the deadline.
White was the perfect mid-season addition for what is a championship team and I believe Stevens will identify what this current team is missing and do it again by the Feb. 9 deadline date.
A recent Bleacher Report article suggests Boston will target big men reinforcements, as their center position is still somewhat out of whack, despite a versatile trio of centers and other players used to fill the gap.
The three names in Buckley’s report who he thinks Boston should target are: Kelly Olynyk, Naz Reid, and Mike Muscala. Of the names presented in the article, only one of the three players would actually fit well in Boston, however his contract is too large, making it unrealistic and that’s Kelly Olynyk.
Olynyk is inked for $12,195,122, which is a larger contract for the Celtics to play with but there’s room to make it work, depending on who the Celtics are willing to part ways with and if Olynyk is even a guy that could help this team (which I think he could).
Olynyk is averaging 12.1 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 41.1 percent from 3-point range, with 4.9 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game this season in Utah.
For this trade to work, the Jazz will have to agree to taking Danilo Gallinari, while the Celtics will have to part ways with Grant Williams.
Another way this trade can work without including Grant is to clean the backend of the bench, sending Payton Pritchard, Justin Jackson, and Blake Griffin in addition to Gallinari.
The Celtics have already shown that Payton Pritchard is valuable to them, extending their guard depth behind three high quality veterans. So there’s another way for a trade to work that doesn’t include Pritchard.
It’s worth mentioning that any trade including Pritchard could easily be swapped for Luke Kornet, as the values of their contracts are similar, despite their positions being different.
So in this scenario, it’s the same trade as the one above, but with Kornet instead of Pritchard, which actually makes more sense for Utah considering they’d be losing a center in Olynyk.
It all depends on what direction the Utah Jazz are trying to go. Since Danny Ainge became a high-powered executive in Utah, he’s attempted to rebuild the team, trading away franchise pillars in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the process.
Boston does have an available roster spot to play with, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mifondu Kabengele’s two-way contract ultimately converted to a standard deal at some point during this window of opportunity to do so.
Olynyk could be a valuable piece off the bench for the Celtics. It would also allow Boston to have the flexibility and versatility to start utilizing their double big lineup from the opening tip.
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Photo Credit: Fransico Kjolseth, The Salt Lake Tribune