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Especially if that particular move proves to be cost-effective as Stevens attempts to keep Boston as far below the NBA tax line as possible.
So far, the Kemba Walker and Al Horford swap with the Oklahoma City Thunder puts Brad and the Celtics just under $9 million below the tax. But, he also has $11 million remaining on the Gordon Hayward traded player exception, which the Celtics can use to acquire a player worth as much, via a sign-and-trade.
Here are three options at the wing position that Stevens should explore.
Pacers’ Doug McDermott
Cue up the “Well, if Danny Ainge traded Gordon Hayward to Indiana like he was supposed to! Doug McDermott would already be in Boston!” section of Celtics Nation. Through their eyes, this botched deal was unforgivable and the beginning of the end for Ainge’s 18-year tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations, however, we’ll never truly know if either side balked.
Or, if the influence of Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan made Hayward to Buzz City a foregone conclusion. However, one thing I do know, for sure, is I still want to see Dougie McBuckets in green-and-white.
Sure, Doug earned that nickname for the obvious reason. He makes buckets and does it at an efficient rate. Last season, McDermott averaged a career-high 13.6 points while shooting 53.2% from the floor, including a 38.8% clip from deep, per Basketball-Reference.com.
Warriors’ Kelly Oubre
The open market will ultimately decide Golden State Warriors Kelly Oubre’s value and dictate whether or not he falls under the Celtics’ $11 million TPE. But as an interesting 3-and-D option, who’s athletic, can move the ball and score at a high rate, Stevens could be swooping in for a deal.
However, as The Atheltic’s Jared Weiss points out, in the end, Oubre may be too expensive.
“It would be a surprise if he remains in Boston’s price range. If he doesn’t, he arrives in Boston as the team’s third-best scorer right away,” wrote The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. “An athletic and smooth wing with length and flair that can absolutely get buckets. His shooting over the years has been erratic and he went through some ups and downs last year dealing with a wrist injury.
“But the talent is there and he has rounded his game to be much more than a downhill scorer.”
76ers’ Furkan Korkmaz
No TPE is necessary but a potentially low-cost, high reward gem could turn out to be Philadelphia 76ers’ Furkan Korkmaz. Once a 40% 3-point shooter in 2019-20, per Basketball-Reference.com, Korkmaz is striving to become an NBA sniper, and at 23-years-old, the jury’s still out.
And on the opposite end, Furkan is no slouch. He could also blossom into, as The Athletic points out, a carbon copy of Evan Fournier.
“Korkmaz is more of a tradition shooting guard who flies under screens, but he can put the ball on the floor and make nice passing reads,” wrote The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. “He isn’t going to be an on-ball creator running pick-and-roll or isolation, but he can come off of curls from all over the court to catch the ball on the move and find a pull-up 3, hanging mid-range jumper or a deft pass to a teammate in the corner.
“There’s a lot of similarities to Fournier there, including on the defensive end where he makes up for his lack of physicality with good hands and smooth feet.”