Boston Celtics: Extend or trade on 3 summer 2022 free agents

Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Celtics’ core is one that is locked into place…at the very top of the depth chart. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are in the early years of their max contract extensions while their ascending 2019-21 rookies (Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams) are under contract for at least two more seasons.

New acquisition Al Horford’s non-guaranteed 2022-23 salary could be dropped or dealt to create more cap space, but he could potentially have two more years left in Boston. The other new acquisition, Moses Brown, also has several seasons left and would not be hard to deal either.

That said, next summer is the end date on several key rotation pieces’ deals and the Cs could be making some major decisions on them soon.

The question now becomes: extend or trade?

Let’s play:

Boston Celtics’ 2022 free agent to extend or trade #1: Tristan Thompson

This is an easy one.

Year one in Beantown was not a fruitful one for Tristan Thompson. Danny Ainge used the full MLE to bring Thompson as the answer at the center spot for the Cs.

This offseason, they acquired former Celtics center Al Horford and Moses Brown to play some minutes at the 5. Ipso facto, the pivot question was one that Thompson did not adequately answer.

Given his salary, Thompson is one of Boston’s best trade chips. He could be the key piece in the next big deal new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens makes to improve the team’s chances of reaching banner #18 before the Los Angeles Laker do.

Either way, an extension is not in any way in the cards for Thompson.

Verdict: Trade