Why Celtics are Place ‘Everyone Wants to Go’ During Buyout Season: Exec

Brad Stevens

Getty Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics

As of November 25, the Boston Celtics sport the league’s best record at 14-4. They have the league’s best offensive rating, scoring 118.8 points per 100 possessions. They also have the assets to get better, as they were awarded a $3.23 Disable Player Exception after Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL.

Because of how well they’ve played and the money they can offer, an Eastern Conference executive explained to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney why they will be a preferred destination for players who will be bought out mid-season.

“The thing about that is that the Celtics will be the place everyone wants to go. They have good teammates and a good locker room. Players like the coach. They play a fun style. They’re winning. And they can give more money than most teams,” the exec told Deveney.

The Celtics have had this exception to offer players in the past, like in 2017 after Gordon Hayward broke his leg on opening night. The Celtics would go on to use it on Greg Monroe, who had been waived by the Phoenix Suns earlier that season.

Exec Lists Eric Gordon as an Option

While talking with Deveney about possible options the Celtics may have when buyout season comes, the executive named Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets as an option.

“Eric Gordon would be another guy. What are the Rockets going to do with him? They would trade him but they might have held him too long and maybe in the end they give him the buyout and let him go somewhere to win,” the exec told Deveney.

Gordon has been with the Rockets since 2016, where he won Sixth Man of the Year in his first year with the team during the 2016-17 season. He was also a rotation player when the Rockets almost toppled the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 Western Conference Finals. He is in the third year of a four-year, $75 million extension he signed with the Rockets in 2019, according to Spotrac. The last year of his deal is non-guaranteed.

The Rockets are 3-14 – which makes places them at the bottom of the Western Conference – and have been rebuilding since trading James Harden away in 2020. Gordon has taken out some of his frustrations with the Rockets’ losing ways this season on Twitter, like he did on November 14 shortly after they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Alec Burks Listed as an Option

While discussing possible options with Deveney, the executive named Alec Burks as another option should the Detroit Pistons buy him out.

“Alec Burks is back and playing for the Pistons. They are hoping to get his value up to trade him, but if they can’t, he’d be a buyout candidate and a fit in Boston. They can give him a bit more money with that DPE,” the exec told Deveney.

The Pistons are also in the middle of a rebuild and are 5-15. Like the Rockets, they are at the bottom of their conference. In seven games this season, Burks is averaging 16.6 points while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from three in 21.3 minutes a game.

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