Celtics Urged to ‘Outbid’ Buyout Market to Sign 5-Time All-Star

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Getty Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics still have an open roster spot, despite acquiring Mike Muscala at the February 9 trade deadline.

According to NESN’s Sean T. McGuire, Boston should look toward Kevin Love to fill that final spot once he eventually completes his buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the analyst urging Boston to use their Disabled Player Exception (worth $3.2 million) to outbid any rival teams who may be interested in the five-time NBA All-Star.

“The addition of Love admittedly would be more of a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency situation. The Celtics hopefully wouldn’t have to play Love in meaningful minutes this spring. But the potential to fill that final spot with a veteran who’s won a championship nevertheless is enticing…The Celtics do enter the buyout market with an advantage over others as Boston has a $3.2 million disabled player exception earned after Danilo Gallinari’s injury. It could be used to outbid opponents for buyout candidates and specifically used to outbid those going after Love,” McGuire wrote.

Love, 34, is currently averaging 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per contest while shooting 38.9% from the field and 35.4% from deep in 41 appearances this season. However, it remains to be seen whether the veteran forward is going to prioritize the chance to win a championship or the chance to play a significant role within a team’s rotation.

Blake Griffin is Having a Significant Impact on Boston

Since joining the Celtics this past summer, Blake Griffin has quickly become a fan favorite for his jovial nature and full-hearted performances when his name gets called. When speaking to the media following the Celtics’ February 15 victory over the Detroit Pistons, Marcus Smart heaped praise on the impact Griffin’s had since joining the franchise.

“Loved it, man. I loved that. For Blake and for this team…Those guys have been playing their butts off since me, Jayson, Jaylen, and a couple of other starters have been out, and we’ve been loving every last minute of it. For Blake to come in and understand that he’s not the same Blake Griffin he was a couple of years ago — his minutes are down — but he’s still a professional. To come in and give his body up on the line for his teammates, I don’t see how you don’t get excited for that. We all just want to make sure we show that and give him his roses,” Smart said.

Griffin has been playing somewhat of a bit-part role for the Celtics this season but has impressed whenever given the opportunity and has also clearly developed a close working relationship with the players and coaching staff alike.

Celtics Miss Out on Preferred Buyout Target

Shortly after the trade deadline closed, Danny Green was expected to be the Celtics’ top target once he hit the buyout market; however, Boston was unable to entice him due to a lack of available playing time, leading the veteran to join the Cleveland Cavaliers instead.

“Three-time champion Danny Green is nearing an agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers, his agent/attorney Raymond Brothers of @RocNationSports
tells ESPN. The Cavs can offer Green significant opportunity to make an impact on a playoff team,” Wojnarowski Tweeted.

As such, Kevin Love could be Brad Stevens’ best option from a pure talent standpoint, yet there’s no guarantee that Boston will move to acquire the former NBA champion, as his skill set is pretty much covered due to the addition of Muscala. Still, the Celtics will need to move quickly if they want to fill their final roster spot and give themselves some additional depth for the final stretch of the season.