Beale Street Bears' Mark Nilon sees the Boston Celtics as the ideal landing spot for Grizzlies big man Xavier Tillman, who was floated as a potential add-on in a John Konchar trade by CelticsBlog's Ben Dupont, believing that the Cs front office could acquire the Memphis center with the goal of flipping him for assets before his contract is up for renewal in the offseason.
"Should Memphis be hesitant to bring the big back, Boston could prove to be a team that they could flip him for assets in the meantime rather than risk losing him for nothing during the offseason," Nilon wrote. "Should the Grizzlies find themselves questioning whether they should hold onto Tillman beyond this final year under contract, perhaps pursuing a deal with a team from the opposite division would be the ideal way to go about things and, in many ways, the Celtics could be an ideal partner in such a scenario."
Dupont floated Tillman as a candidate for the Grant Williams TPE, who'd fit into the $6.2 million exception along with Konchar, a somewhat puzzling rumored Celtics trade target whose rebounding as a guard (8.3 RPG per 36 minutes in his career) is his standout trait.
"Would the Celtics want to re-sign him? Should they give up draft capital for a couple months’ play from a third big? Maybe not," Dupont prefaced before saying, "But Tillman would provide youth and intensity – something that Boston’s frontcourt is severely lacking. And they could get his $1.9 million salary without moving a single player to Memphis because of a $6.2 million trade exception. If Boston would rather send out a player for salary purposes or to save the exception, though, Svi Mykhailiuk and a few other players have deals that could be stacked to match. Boston also has been linked to Grizzlies forward John Konchar in the past few weeks. I don’t see the shooting guard getting any minutes in Boston, but he would fit into the exception with Tillman."
Boston Celtics should be eyeing bigger deals than for Xavier Tillman and John Konchar
Boston could do better than giving up any assets for Konchar and/or Tillman, who are not doing much to help the Grizzlies overcome the injury losses of Marcus Smart and Steven Adams, and the suspension of Ja Morant.
Regarding Konchar, he owns a bargain bin deal at just $18.4 million over the next three seasons starting in 2024-25, but his archetype as a player is easy to find in the G-League or from the college ranks. He's solid, but you don't tie up cap space, and for the Boston Celtics, added tax ramifications, for a player like that.
Tillman, meanwhile, could end up on the buyout scrap heap himself. If he ends up as a salary throw-in to a larger deal for one of Memphis's bigger contracts, Boston could simply avoid the hassle of trading for him and flipping him and give him a prove-it deal late in the season.