Celtics Considered Landing Spot for $26 Million Rim Protector

Jakob Poeltl

Getty Jakob Poeltl #25, San Antonio Spurs

While talking about the Boston Celtics on The Hoop Collective, NBA insider Brian Windhorst brought up who the Celtics may target if they are looking for more help defensively in their frontcourt.

“The question is, ‘does this team need to go out and get another big man who can defend?’ The name that has come up that people have speculated has been Jakob Poeltl from the Spurs. They did a deal with the Spurs last year, obviously, for Derrick White,” Windhorst said.

Windhorst then added that the Celtics are okay with spending more money and what they could do to pull off a deal for Poeltl.

“The Celtics are in the tax for the first time in a while. They’re willing to spend. They can trade a first-round pick… Poeltl makes $9.3 (million). That’s not a huge salary to try to get up there and match. If they’re willing to include a pick, the Celtics can do it.”

Windhorst Explains a Potential Deal

Windhorst talked about who on the Celtics’ end could potentially be included in a possible trade for Poeltl.

“If Poeltl comes on the market, I’m not saying that the Celtics couldn’t get outbid. They can’t trade (Danilo) Gallinari to the Spurs because he was a Spur already this year. That’s a problem with that type of deal. You could do a three-way deal where Gallinari ends up somewhere else, but they have some contracts that they can cobble together that could get them there,” Windhorst said.

Gallinari was traded to the Spurs over the summer after the Atlanta Hawks traded him along with multiple first-round picks to acquire Dejounte Murray. Even though he never played a game for the Spurs and was shortly waived after being acquired, Gallinari cannot play for them for an entire year.

The Celtics have other contracts they could potentially use in a deal for Poeltl, like Grant Williams, whose contract is worth $4,306,281 this season, and Payton Pritchard, whose contract is worth $2,239,200 during the 2022-23 season.

Exec Says Celtics Aren’t Trading Gallinari

An Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that the Celtics would not trade Gallinari because it would make them look bad.

“They can’t trade Gallinari,” the exec said. “I mean, they could, but it would hurt their reputations among players and agents. They sign a guy who really wanted to be there, and he gets hurt, so you dump him? That is a bit too cold. They have been smart to play Sam Hauser, but that does not mean they will move Gallinari.”

Gallinari also passed on more money from the Chicago Bulls in favor of playing for the Celtics, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

“As Gallinari looked for a new home after the Hawks traded him to the Spurs and he agreed to a buyout, coming to Boston felt like a golden opportunity. He turned down more money in Chicago to take the Celtics’ $13.3 million offer over the next two seasons, which isn’t too hard a choice considering the 33-year-old will still hit $200 million in career earnings when his deal expires in 2024,” Weiss said.

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