The Celtics are still only a few weeks into their offseason, with the next notable portion of the NBA calendar slated for next week. But the C’s have clearly done their due diligence around the league as they have been active on the trade market as first reported by MassLive’s Brian Robb.
Boston currently has a ton of guards on its roster that represent a luxury. If a trade is to be made, it starts with one of the four point guards. The C’s can upgrade both the wing and big man spots, so it’s no surprise they’re looking to move one of their marketable assets to a more balanced roster.
The Celtics will have to make other decisions in the meantime, starting with the draft, where they have the 35th overall pick. Grant Williams’ restricted free agency will also be on the list, as they could pursue a sign-and-trade or another move. Either way, it’s an important offseason for the Celtics as they look to get back to the NBA Finals.
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The four guards on the Celtics roster are Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon and Payton Pritchard. Here’s a look at looking at each player as you examine how likely their trade levels are in relation to the roster.
Contract: Signed through the 2025-26 season. $18.6 million salary in 2023-24.
Realistically, it’s hard to see Smart traded unless the Celtics make a huge swing. Smart is the longest tenured C’s player, and Stevens signed him to an extension as one of his early decisions in the front office. At his contract, Smart provides great value and he could be one of the best defenders in the league, as evidenced by the Defensive Player of the Year award.
While Smart is not the perfect player, he has stepped up for the Celtics in the playoffs and is part of their core. Smart is part of Boston’s plans moving forward, and Stevens has indicated he doesn’t want a major shakeup of the C’s core. His contract is also reasonable as a starting point guard and emotional manager. Trading Level: Unlikely.
Contract: Signed through the 2024-25 season. $17.6 million salary in 2023-24.
Similar to Smart, White has shown his value as a glue guy for the Celtics. His numbers don’t jump off the page, but he’s more than capable of catching up. He was also an All-Defensive second-teamer last season, and while he was up-and-down in the playoffs, White stepped up late for the Celtics. He’s also on a reasonable contract, and there’s a reason the C’s acquired him at the 2022 trade deadline from the Spurs.
While White isn’t untouchable in the conventional sense — the right deal could come along — he’s another starting-caliber NBA guard who brings a lot to the table. He’s also reportedly the least likely to be moved this summer of the four C’s guards. In terms of the dressing room, his willingness to sacrifice his role is also a positive. Trading Level: Unlikely.
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Contract: Signed through the 2024-25 season. $22.5 million in salary in 2023-24.
When the Celtics acquired Brogdon from the Pacers last summer for a first-round pick and a salary cap, it appeared he would be part of the team’s plans moving forward. But when it comes to guards, Brogdon represents a luxury piece for the Celtics. He was solid all season en route to being named Sixth Man of the Year, and his willingness to come off the bench was a selfless move from the veteran.
However, the new collective agreement resulted in tighter salary ceilings. That means Brogdon could be moved to give the C’s more flexibility this summer and beyond. Brogdon’s durability is also in question as he has been plagued by injuries in his career. While Brogdon remained healthy, his unfortunate arm injury in the East Finals also came at a tough time. All of these are factors this summer. Trading Level: Warming up.
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Contract: Signed through the 2023-24 season, will hit restricted free agency next summer. $4 million in salary in 2023-24.
Pritchard might be the most interesting trade for the C’s this summer. The guard finished his third season in the NBA and has made it clear he wants more playing time. He is reportedly well-regarded throughout the league and would be a good trade asset in any move. Pritchard didn’t see the field much this season behind the aforementioned third guards, so it’s no surprise he wants a bigger role.
There is a world where the C’s move Pritchard for a replacement. However, if the Celtics trade Brogdon, they can be content to roll with a cheap option as their third guard off the bench. He might be at his most unstable, but he’ll likely see more minutes next season, whether it’s in Boston or not. Trading Level: Medium, but subject to change.