The Boston Celtics may not be done improving their roster this summer. They have 14 players under contract, but they are still feeling the sting of losing Marcus Smart and Grant Williams. Guard Payton Pritchard wanted to be traded, but has Smart’s departure changed that calculus? The Celtics attended a five-time All-Star point guard’s workout, which proves they are not sold on Pritchard’s return.
Boston has title aspirations in 2024, and they do not want a disgruntled player on their roster to begin the season. There should be more minutes for Pritchard, but will that be enough? The Celtics could certainly search for a replacement, and they should, especially if Pritchard has no plans of staying on board next summer.
Can Boston find a trade that works? Brad Stevens and the front office are always searching for deals to improve their title chances. With the Celtics under the new second tax apron, they could explore trading the 6’1 guard before training camp.
Payton Pritchard trades that improve the Boston Celtics title odds
5. Celtics add wing depth for playoffs
The Celtics are trending big and that could be problematic in the playoffs if teams go small. Kristaps Porzingis struggles mightily to defend on the perimeter, and multiple players have health concerns. Does Boston want to rely on using two big lineups in the playoffs?
Expect the Celtics to try to add another wing at some point this season, and the Brooklyn Nets have a glut at that position.
The new CBA lowered the difference in salary matching from 125 percent to 110 percent for teams above the first tax apron like the Boston Celtics, which makes finding a trade for Payton Pritchard difficult. He only makes $4 million next season, and Boston does not have mid-sized contracts available to trade.
Would they give up four end-of-the-bench options to add another wing? Adding Royce O’Neale allows Boston to play Derrick White, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the center of their choosing as a devastating postseason group. O’Neale may not play a ton of minutes in the regular season, but his presence could be massive in the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics could expand this trade to move on from Malcolm Brogdon too, but that would create a new risk.