The Boston Celtics were determined to improve their roster this summer. They traded Marcus Smart to get Kristaps Porzingis and found a way to acquire Jrue Holiday after the Bucks landed Damian Lillard. Boston has arguably the best top six in the NBA and is among the title favorites.
The Celtics are likely not done. They have a few holes to fill and two first-round picks plus eight second-rounders available to trade. Boston has reached the conference finals five times in the last seven years and now is their best shot to win their franchise’s 18th championship.
The Celtics’ struggle in improving is finding the matching salary in trades. They have four players making north of $30 million and little interest in sending out Derrick White or Al Horford. Payton Pritchard just signed an extension, but Boston’s depth is questionable behind him. There are moves to explore in upgrading their roster, and Brad Steven and the front office will be making calls.
5. Celtics get big man help
Pritchard’s extension does not eliminate him from trade conversations, but makes him a poison pill player. It is more difficult to trade him, but Boston can do it if they need to round out their roster.
The Celtics need a big man after sending Robert Williams III to Portland in the Jrue Holiday trade. Atlanta has two starting centers and must send one packing. Most think they will trade Clint Capela, but Okongwu is a restricted free agent in the summer of 2024. Now is the time to trade him if they do not plan on keeping him long-term.
Boston already has thin depth, but Okongwu fills a need and gives them a more traditional five when the matchup calls for it. Losing Pritchard, Kornet, Sykhaliliuk, and a first-round pick is costly, but the Celtics are all-in. If Okongwu helps their odds, it is a move to seriously consider.
The Boston Celtics could look to straight upgrade over Payton Pritchard too.