Celtics Urged to Target $24 Million Wing

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Getty Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts during a game against the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics could use more help along the wing. Danilo Gallinari was supposed to be that guy for them, but he’s presumably going to be out for the entire season while rehabbing his torn ACL. After the extent of Gallinari’s injury was confirmed, Brian Robb of MassLive explained why the Celtics believe Sam Hauser would be the guy to fill in for him.

“League sources tell MassLive that the team is very high on the 24-year-old undrafted sharpshooter who knocked down 43 percent of his 3s during his rookie year in limited action,” Robb said on August 31.

Because Sam Hauser hasn’t seen much NBA time, no one will know for sure what he’s made of until they see what he does when he gets extended minutes. If Hauser is not up the task, the Celtics may have to look at other wing options.

An Eastern Conference executive who spoke with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney listed a number of wings the Celtics could target on the buyout market when that time comes this season. Chief among them was Kelly Oubre Jr. of the Charlotte Hornets.

“I think the Hornets look to trade him but a buyout, you can’t rule that out either,” the exec told Deveney. “If things go south for the Hornets, that’s possible. That is like a dream wing for the Celtics to pick up for a vet minimum, though.”

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After stints with the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors, Oubre signed a two-year deal with the Hornets in 2021. Last season, he averaged 15 points and four rebounds while shooting 44 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from three.

Proposed Trade Sends Oubre to Boston

On September 11, Heavy Sports’ Jack Simone proposed a trade between the Celtics and the Hornets in which the following could occur.

Celtics receive: Oubre

Hornets receive: Danilo Gallinari, Luke Kornet, minimum contract player, 2025 1st-Round Pick (Top-20 Protected)

Simone explained why both sides would agree to a trade like this.

“For the Celtics, this would be an easy trade to make. They would get an extra wing who could provide them with solid shooting and scoring off the bench for a fairly low price. He’s not a great defender, but for what they would be giving up, it would be a solid addition…

“As for Charlotte, if they fail to push for the Play-In Tournament, they could look to offload Oubre’s contract for a pick. This will be the final year of his deal, so getting something in return for him could turn into a priority for Charlotte.”

The Hornets suffered a sizable loss when promising wing Miles Bridges was arrested and charged with domestic violence and child abuse and did not add anyone who could replace him.

Other Wings the Celtics Could Target

The executive who spoke with Deveney listed two other wings that the Celtics could target with the trade exceptions they have in their arsenal.

“I think two guys they looked at and could look at with their TPEs are Justise Winslow and Mo Harkless. I think both of those guys make sense if they’re not getting what they want off the bench for backup wings.”

The executive explained that Winslow would have fit better under Ime Udoka, but he believes the Celtics’ abilities on both ends would potentially negate his shortcomings.

“Winslow can’t shoot. I’d have liked him more with Ime Udoka than with Mazzulla because Ime would have just been all over his defense. But I think they’re going to be a better two-way team this year.

The executive explained why he believe Harkless would fit with the Celtics.

“He’d be a good fit there. He can do a little of everything and has fit in with all his teams.”

Harkless has been involved in multiple trades in September. On September 27, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

On September 29, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Harkless had been traded to the Houston Rockets.

Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated reported that Harkless is expected to be bought out by the Rockets.

It’s very possible that the Celtics could get Harkless without having to use any of their trade exceptions in the process.

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