Does pursuing big man Isaiah Stewart even make sense for the Boston Celtics?

This past week, the Boston Celtics were one of three teams that were reported to be "strongly interested" in Detroit's big man Isaiah Stewart, but does it even make sense for the Celts?
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With an eye on improving the frontcourt depth, it was reported by The Athletic this past week that the Boston Celtics are interested in Detroit big man Isaiah Stewart. This is not the first time a report was confirmed that Brad Stevens was pondering the idea of prying the ex-Washington center away from the Motor City. This past summer, it was reported that Boston "made calls" on Stewart, but the organization currently sitting in the basement of the NBA refused to pursue anything serious.

Given that the Celts are financially and roster-wise, does adding this 22-year-old frontcourt asset from New York elevate Boston even further away from its counterparts in the Eastern Conference?

With the injury issues surrounding Luke Kornet, and Kristaps Porzingis in addition to the fact that Al Horford does not compete on the second night of back to backs, the desire for upgrades in the frontcourt is understandable. This report essentially tells us that the organization doesn't seem to trust Kornet all that much to slide in and fill a much larger role if needed.

The Rochester, New York native has two things going for him in the association -- rebounding, and a dominant physical presence. Defensively, he has shown a surprising versatility, using that strength to make guards work for buckets in mismatches.

His three-point shot has taken the largest leap in his career, sitting at over 37% right now, over five percent better than the 2022-23 campaign. If Boston were to go small, the University of Washington product would be a quality player to slot in at the No. 5 spot. He's got that DAWG in him too. You know what I mean. That "I don't care who you are, I'm going to dominate type attitude." His game is enticing, one that Stevens should be attracted to. It goes beyond that though.

If Stewart does come on board, the bench that has been performing so well as of late for the Celts would be a thing of the past. His four-year, $60 million extension that comes into play next season would make him the sixth highest paid player on the roster.

Even with a promising ceiling, bringing on Isaiah Stewart makes little fiscal sense for the Celtics

With Jrue Holiday on board, and the Latvian stretch big extended, the Celts are already $18,186,483 over the luxury tax threshold, slightly above the second apron set at $17.5 million by the league. In terms of the money, it's difficult to justify it.

Due to the way his contract works, a team would need to match a salary of just over $13 million, far different from his outgoing trade value which sits around $5.3 million. For someone who will be the club's third big man, matching over $10 million is quite steep. Jayson Tatum, and Holiday, at some point will want to be extended and paid fairly. That doesn't even take into account Jaylen Brown's supermax that will begin in 2024/25.

While he may want to run as far away from the Motor City as possible given the state of the franchise, Boston just isn't the place for Stewart, at least for now.