As things stand, the Boston Celtics’ roster looks great. After falling short in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Brad Stevens addressed the team’s biggest issue – depth. He signed Danilo Gallinari and traded for Malcolm Brogdon.
Unfortunately, Gallinari suffered a torn ACL while playing for the Italian national team at EuroBasket, but the Brogdon addition should still give the Celtics a huge boost. They now have one of the best backcourts in the league with Brogdon, Marcus Smart, Payton Pritchard, and Derrick White.
However, once the Brogdon trade went through, rumors began circling that White could be expendable. But according to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Celtics have no immediate intentions of trading White.
“If something came their way where they needed a salary to match, that would be a case where you can imagine them looking to maybe move White but they’re not out there shopping him for sure,” an Eastern Conference executive told Deveney.
As mentioned, he could potentially act as a salary-filler in a trade if a big-time deal came across the table, but right now, no such trade exists. Plus, the executive mentioned that White doesn’t actually have a ton of value around the league. Boston values him more than most other squads.
White Doesn’t Have Great Trade Value
In Boston’s defensive-minded system, White is the perfect player. However, not every team is built like the Celtics. In turn, White has more value to Boston than he would in trade talks with almost any other team, making potential trades difficult to navigate.
“He does not have a ton of value — he is a good, solid defensive player and you just hope he can get turned around offensively, but he is 28 now,” the executive explained. “So it’s sort of a case where what you see is what you are going to get. With the way they play, he is more valuable to the Celtics than he is to other teams and guys like that are not easy to trade. I don’t see Derrick going anywhere.”
After joining the Celtics last year, White’s numbers dipped a bit. In the 26 regular-season games he played in Boston, White averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 40.9% shooting from the field and 30.6% shooting from three-point range. However, as noted, his defensive impact was crucial to the team’s success.
With White in tow, the Celtics are home to (arguably) the best defensive backcourt in the league. Smart recently took the time to discuss Boston’s summer additions and how they will help the team’s depth.
Smart on Celtics’ Newest Additions
Coming off of a Defensive Player of the Year season, Smart is revved up and ready to go heading into next year. During a recent interview with Jared Weiss of The Athletic, he talked about the team’s offseason signings.
“We put ourselves in that situation early on, having to fight back through injuries and stuff,” Smart said. “Being able to have that depth of guys who are experienced and understand the game such as Gallo and Brogdon definitely will help us with that.”
Boston’s roster is set up perfectly to compete for the title again next year, and Smart, White, Brogdon, and Pritchard will be a huge part of that.