Kevin Love and Andre Drummond are among the salary fits into the Boston Celtics’ TPE created by the Grant Williams sign-and-trade following the acquisition of Jrue Holiday on October 1.
Holiday was acquired in a deal that sent Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, a protected 2024 first-round pick acquired from the Golden State Warriors, and the team’s own 2029 unprotected first-rounder to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Celtics analyst Dan Greenberg shared the full list; one which includes former Celtics the fanbase likely isn’t clamoring for a comeback from (Tristan Thompson, Mike Muscala), intriguing young talents with undefined ceilings (Alperen Sengun, Mark Williams, Jalen Duren), and locker room-focused veteran additions with a few years left in the gas tank (DeAndre Jordan, Taj Gibson, JaVale McGee).
A Walker Kessler trade would be the ultimate chess move for the Boston Celtics front office
No name on this list stands out more than Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler, whose All-Rookie First Team showing was singlehandedly enough to declare the Rudy Gobert trade a win for the franchise.
Kessler has the highest defined ceiling of anyone on Greenberg’s list and plays for the team run by former Boston Celtics general manager and two-time NBA Champion guard Danny Ainge. Brad Stevens doing business with his former mentor is a likely scenario in the future — though it should be noted that the Jazz and Cs haven’t completed a trade together in nearly two decades.
Giving up two future first-round draft picks for Holiday takes two major assets out of Boston’s war chest, but if Stevens wanted to empty it completely, Kessler is perhaps the most sensible player to do that for.
Losing Robert Williams III in the Holiday trade gives the team a need in the rim protection department that Kessler would more than capably fill; and then some. If Stevens is set to go all in, in terms of options, there’s no better than Kessler.