Celtics Trade Picks to West Squad for Long-Time Al Horford Teammate: Report

Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics are trading for Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mike Muscala, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. They will send the Thunder Justin Jackson and two second-round picks.

“Boston is sending Justin Jackson and two second-round picks to OKC for Mike Muscala, sources said,” Charania tweeted.

The deal marks Boston’s first official acquisition of the season. They made another deal earlier in the year in which they shipped off Noah Vonleh to the San Antonio Spurs, but they didn’t receive any players back in that trade.

Muscala was teammates with Celtics center Al Horford for many years with the Atlanta Hawks, and they also teamed up during Horford’s brief stint in Oklahoma City.

The big man will join the Celtics as extra big man insurance – something Brad Stevens was reportedly looking for ahead of this year’s deadline. With Al Horford and Robert Williams dealing with injury issues, Muscala will provide the Celtics with another option at the center position.

While the veteran isn’t a star player by any means, he’s been putting up some solid stats this season. Muscala appeared in 43 of the Thunder’s 54 games this year and played 14.5 minutes per contest. The 31-year-old, 6-foot-10 center is averaging 6.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game on 43.8% shooting from the floor and 39.4% shooting from behind the three-point line.

Having Muscala’s three-point shooting off the bench will be a huge asset for the Celtics, who could play him in a ton of different lineups. Muscala can play alongside almost any other big on the roster and can also act as the sole center if need be.

Most importantly, the Celtics made the trade without giving up any of their primary rotational assets. The core of Boston’s roster remains intact.

While the move will certainly add an extra punch to the Celtics’ lineup, they still could add more players by the 3:00 p.m. Eastern time deadline on February 9.

Celtics Could Trade Grant Williams

One player the Celtics could potentially look at trading is forward Grant Williams. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that rival executives were making calls about a potential Williams deal.

“NBA executives say teams have made calls to Boston about Grant Williams, who has underwhelmed on defense ahead of entering restricted free agency this summer,” O’Connor wrote.

A big part of that interest could be the fact that Boston may be hesitant to pay Williams’ asking price in restricted free agency this summer, which, according to sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, is roughly $18-$20 million.

“They undercut him on the extension, and they’re going to have to decide, how much is what he brings worth to them?” an Eastern Conference executive explained to Deveney. “But they got a pretty friendly deal for Al, right? So that leaves them some pretty significant room to keep Grant Williams, too. All he had to do, really, was to back up what he did last year, to show that the big spike he had in his shooting was not some fluke. He has done that. He is really tough on those corner 3s. His defense is there. He is a better playmaker. He wants something in the $18-20 million per year range, and he has to feel like he has earned that.”

Celtics Receive Bad Jaylen Brown Injury News

One other thing to consider ahead of the trade deadline is the fact that Jaylen Brown will now be sidelined for multiple weeks, according to Charania.

“Boston’s Jaylen Brown has suffered a facial fracture and will miss some time, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Initial feeling is Brown could be sidelined through the All-Star break, with further specialist examination on Thursday,” Charania tweeted.

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