Celtics ‘Had Interest’ in Sharpshooter, Could Pursue This Offseason: Report

Doug McDermott of the San Antonio Spurs, a potential trade target of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Doug McDermott of the San Antonio Spurs, a potential trade target of the Boston Celtics.

On January 1, the Boston Celtics were 17-19 and sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Their position would get even worse as, by January 16, they had improved to 22-22 but fallen into the 11th seed. Fans’ eyes were on one thing and one thing only:  the trade deadline.

Many Celtics players were thrown around in rumors ahead of the deadline. This list included Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and more. And while both of those players ended up sticking around to help the Celtics turn their season around, some still believe that Boston needs to add more pieces this offseason.

As reported by Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, one NBA executive believes the Celtics are still trying to shake the idea that they are a ‘heartless franchise’ because of the way they traded Isaiah Thomas. In turn, they could be forced to trade Horford to add players:

They want to be smart with their books but remember, they’re battling this image that they’re kind of a heartless franchise because of the whole Isaiah Thomas thing. Lose to Milwaukee and maybe it is different. If they want to use the TPE (traded-player exception) they’re probably going to have let Al go. But who are you going to bring in with the TPE that can do more for you than Horford?

However, the executive also noted that trading Horford would leave the Celtics in a worse position than they are now, stating that “he has been so valuable to them.” That being said, the executive did offer a suggestion as to who the Celtics could bring on board this summer.

Sharpshooter Is Offseason Option for Celtics

Deveney went on to list some players the Celtics could bring into their outstanding Evan Fournier TPE. Terrence Ross, Kelly Olynyk, Thaddeus Young, and Joe Ingles were four names he was less than excited about. However, the aforementioned executive mentioned Doug McDermott, who he says the Celtics were interested in at one point:

There could be some other guys. They had interest in Doug McDermott, just as an example, but what’s he going to do defensively for Ime (Udoka)? Would he play? You could maybe get him for a first-rounder, take him into the TPE.

Simultaneously, the executive acknowledged the clear flaws in McDermott’s game and how they could prevent him from earning many minutes in Boston. Ime Udoka’s switch-everything defense could be difficult for McDermott, an offensive specialist, to thrive in.

However, if the Celtics do enter the market for more shooting, McDermott could be a solid option to utilize in short stints.

McDermott’s Career Stats and Potential Fit

The 30-year-old sharpshooter joined the San Antonio Spurs via sign-and-trade last offseason, inking a three-year, $41 million deal. He’s under contract through the 2023-24 season and fits into Boston’s TPE, which would make it easier for them to trade for him.

McDermott averaged 11.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists with the Spurs this past season, shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 42.2 percent from behind the three-point line. He played in 51 games, averaging 24.0 minutes a night.

Before heading to San Antonio, McDermott bounced around a lot. He began his career with the Chicago Bulls in 2014 before spending time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, and Dallas Mavericks. In 2018, he finally landed with the Indiana Pacers. He spent three years with the Pacers, revitalizing his career and earning the payday he received from the Spurs.

While McDermott’s elite three-point shooting would certainly be a valuable asset for the Celtics, his defensive shortcomings are clear. However, having a shooter of McDermott’s caliber on the roster could prove to be a useful commodity.

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