The NBA offseason has begun to wind down as teams are starting to finalize their roster and fill out any remaining spots with veteran minimums or two-way contracts. The Boston Celtics are no different, wrapping up their offseason with the signing of Dennis Schroder and going into training camp with multiple potential prospects for their last two-way contract spot.
However, some teams are filling out their rosters for different reasons than others. Some are looking to contend, some are looking to make the playoffs, and a certain few are looking to stack assets for a deadline firesale.
The Boston Celtics need to keep an eye on teams trying to capitalize on some of their roster’s value. Clubs like the Indiana Pacers, Portland Trailblazers, and Cleveland Cavaliers will all be on seller watch this deadline, and each of them has something the Cs might like.
The rhyme or reason as to why they are selling their assets may differ. The reason for the Blazers and Pacers will likely be because they aren’t good enough to contend or make the playoffs, so it’s better to get some value back for their expiring assets. The Cavs will be sellers because they are tanking, and the veteran investments on their team are no longer needed.
This article will take a closer look at what each of those teams has to offer and why the Boston Celtics should take an interest in their wholesale.
Potential seller Boston Celtics should monitor #1: Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers have been nothing short of underwhelming this offseason after losing in the play-in and missing the playoffs. Many thought they would call it quits, sell on their stars for picks, and draft a foundational piece with the 13th pick in the draft.
However, the Pacers abandoned a rebuild and drafted Chris Duarte over two foundational elements in Moses Moody and Sharife Cooper. Don’t get me wrong, Duarte is an excellent player, but he’s 24 years old and far from a foundational talent. It was clear that the Pacers selected Duarte to be an immediate contributor, which means the franchise is headed for another year of mediocrity.
The Pacers don’t have the talent or continuity to compete at a high level in the East, especially after losing Nate McMillian, who kept them afloat during the regular season. With Rick Carlise, the Pacers will improve slightly, but their lackluster talent and poor roster construction remain in the way of actual contention. Sooner or later, Indiana’s management will realize this, and there’s a chance they do so at the deadline.
The Indiana Pacers have five expiring contracts on their roster this season, and that alone should cause the Boston Celtics’ ears to perk up. The Celts have many options between TJ Warren, Jeremy Lamb, Goga Bitazde, Edmond Sumner, Oshae Brisset, and Kelan Martin.
TJ Warren is the guy the Boston Celtics should try to pry from the Pacers’ roster. He’s coming off a season where he played four games, but the season before that, he averaged 20 points per game on 61 TS% and 40% shooting from three. He’s making $12.6 million next season, an easy mark to match using either Richardson’s contract or Dunn, some minor pieces, and the Tristan Thompson TPE.
If the Pacers begin to fall, expect the Boston Celtics to be active at the trade deadline.