NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg believes there’s a trade out there that would balance the roster for both the Boston Celtics and the Minnesota Timberwolves — adding a guard to a Minnesota backcourt Forsberg believes has a ‘turnover problem,’ while solving the C’s potential center shortage come playoff time.
The swap would involve Payton Pritchard — who is fresh off a 10-point, seven-rebound, four-assist performance in a start against the Miami Heat — and Naz Reid, who had two 20-point double-doubles in December and is averaging over 10 points in under 18 minutes per game.
The deal would give up a cost-controlled point guard for this season and next while adding an impending restricted free agent. As Forsberg points out, Boston would do well to trade for and then retain Reid at a mid-level rate. That’d give them a bargain-bin big man rotation:
"“The Celtics could then splurge to retain Reid this summer, even if his price tag spiked above midlevel money, which feels unlikely. But let’s say he gets $10 million per season. The Celtics still would only be paying a trio of bigs a total of $30.5 million next year. That’s roughly 17 percent of the team’s total projected salary spend.”"
Naz Reid could be a Grant Williams alternative for the Boston Celtics
At some point, someone in the Celtics’ core will be squeezed out as everyone gets their eventual raise. Luckily, Robert Williams and Al Horford were able to be retained at a rate barely above the mid-level exception, but every other position besides center is going to be exorbitantly expensive come 2024 when Jaylen Brown receives his raise.
If Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens takes a look at his future books and wants to find a way to pinch pennies, he could make a move for a Naz Reid to retain for cheap in the frontcourt — and in the process, find an easy out on doling out the potential $17 million annual salary Grant Williams could receive in restricted free agency this offseason.