What to make of Celtics' trade market approach following recent rumors

Nick Friar
January 13, 2020 - 7:15 am

So far, the Celtics have been linked to three players as potential trade targets: Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Oklahoma City’s Danilo Gallinari and Washington’s Davis Bertans.

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Clearly, one of these forwards — Drummond — is not like the others. He’s a far superior rebounder, does more of his scoring in the paint and is much more physical.

But between his contract ($27.1 million this year) and what it would take to beat out other suitors, it’s hard to imagine the Pistons big man migrates to Boston.

Though, that’s to not say there’s a good chance the Celtics acquire Gallinari or Bertans.

Gallinari is making $22.6 million this year. Combine that with the Thunder being over the tax line and the Celtics having a hard cap as a result of the Kemba Walker-Terry Rozier sign-and-trade, and this becomes a complicated deal to pull off. Plus, Boston would almost certainly have to part ways with pieces they’re not willing to move.

Bertans, on the other hand, is only making $7 million. Obviously, much easier to make a deal for him. Except there’s the matter of Washington’s willingness to move the forward, or lack thereof. Teams are calling about Bertans, but the Wizards want to re-sign him after 2019-20.

The point is more about the style of player the Celtics have kept tabs on. It doesn’t seem like Drummond is the type of forward they’re looking for.

Above all else, Gallinari and Bertans help on the offensive end. Assuming the Celtics wouldn’t move any of their five starters or Marcus Smart to trade for either forward, the acquired player would almost certainly come off the bench.

What have Boston’s reserves struggled with? Scoring. Smart and Enes Kanter provide offense, but the Celtics are very limited after those two.

And Kanter only scores inside. Gallinari and Bertans stretch the floor.

They both move around well, in general, but they’re not exactly defensive stalwarts. But Brad Stevens typically gets the most out of players on that end of the floor. If he were able to do the same with Gallinari, Bertans or another player with similar length and athleticism, the Celtics would have another switchable player on the defensive end who can also shoot from beyond the arc.

So, based on the rumors, it looks like the Celtics are shopping for an athletic stretch four as opposed to a physical center.

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