Celtics Big Man Could Be Traded Next Season: Sources

Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

Getty Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics acquired Mike Muscala from the Oklahoma City Thunder around the February 9 trade deadline as they aimed to give themselves some additional front-court depth.

However, according to an Eastern Conference GM, who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, Muscala’s time in Boston could be short-lived, despite the fact he has another year remaining on his current contract.

“It is hard to imagine they will keep both of those guys if Gallinari comes back healthy,” The GM said, “But at the same time, the option on Muscala is $3.5 million for next year. It might be worth it to just pick up the option and use him as a trade piece. If you package him with other guys like Pritchard and Kornet, you get yourself into the $12 million range on what you can bring back. So, if they do not have another option they like a lot, they could bring him back as a guy they potentially move during the season or in the summer.”

Muscala has been a welcomed addition to Boston’s rotation, with his three-point shooting and screening ability both fitting perfectly into the offensive system that Joe Mazzulla has put in place this season.

Celtics Acquired Mike Muscala After Missing Jakob Poeltl

Before Brad Stevens struck a deal to bring Muscala to Boston, he was reportedly attempting to acquire veteran big man Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs but missed out due to the Western Conference team preferring the Toronto Raptors’ offer.

According to a February 9 report by Masslive’s Brian Robb, the Celtics were offering a trade package centered around Payton Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari, and future draft picks in return for Poeltl.

“League sources tell MassLive that Boston offered Payton Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari, and multiple future second-round picks for the big man ahead of Thursday’s deal. Ultimately, the Spurs elected to go with the Raptors’ offer which included a top-6 protected first-round pick for 2024, two future second-round picks, and center Khem Birch,” Robb reported.

Still, given Muscala’s quick acclimation to the Celtics’ offensive and defensive schemes, it would appear that he has proven to be a reliable addition and is averaging 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in his first 9 games for the Boston, shooting 42.2% from the field, and 34.3% from deep.

Celtics Could Still Trade Payton Pritchard

Although Boston failed to find a new home for Pritchard at the trade deadline, there is still a chance they will look to move on from him in the summer as the third-year sharpshooter struggles to crack the team’s deep guard rotation.

When speaking to Deveney under the condition of anonymity, an Eastern Conference GM revealed three teams they believe could be an ideal landing spot for the sharpshooting guard.

“There are definitely some teams to watch there. Orlando had an interest, they are not that sold on their options at point guard—(Markelle) Fultz has had so many injury troubles, Cole Anthony needs the ball so much, (Jalen) Suggs is more of a two-guard. If they are going to run things through Paolo (Banchero) then a guy like Pritchard, who can manage the game, take good care of the ball, and make his shots when needed, is a good fit.It is just a matter of, can he defend?

Pritchard is Danny’s guy, too, don’t forget. Ainge would love to get him back, and have him in Utah. The Jazz have the Sixers’ pick in this draft; something could get done there. Cleveland asked about Pritchard, too, from what I understand. They have some concerns, long-term, about depth at point guard, and about Ricky Rubio’s health,” The GM told Deveney.

Still, Prtichard will provide the Celtics with a high-level insurance policy for the remainder of the season, as he can easily slide into Boston’s rotation to cover should one of Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, or Derrick White need to miss time due to injury or rest days.


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