The Boston Celtics could use some depth in their frontcourt. They have two useful trade exceptions – the $6.9 million Juancho Hernangomez TPE and the $5.9 million Dennis Schroder TPE and have some players who could potentially be expendable, like Payton Pritchard and Danilo Gallinari, whose contract becomes tradable on December 15.
Brett Siegel of Sports Illustrated wrote an article detailing multiple trade scenarios, one of which involved the Celtics acquiring a player who would help with their frontcourt depth. The player who Siegel proposes is Utah Jazz center Jarred Vanderbilt, who the Jazz acquired when they traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Siegel makes his case for why the Celtics should trade for Vanderbilt.
“Jarred Vanderbilt is only 23 years old and was recently traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Utah Jazz this offseason in the deal that sent Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves. Being a strong rebounder that tends to play physical in the paint, Vanderbilt could be the perfect complimentary piece for this team to add alongside Robert Williams and Al Horford in the frontcourt.”
Siegel also added that Vanderbilt could be absorbed into one of their trade exceptions.
“As the trade deadline approaches, though, it would not be a terrible idea for the Celtics to at least inquire about Jarred Vanderbilt, especially since they could easily absorb his salary using one of their exceptions.”
Vanderbilt will be paid $4,374,000 for the 2022-23 season, so he can fit into either one of the Hernangomez or Schroder TPEs. The Jazz have started the season 6-2, which may call into question if they plan to trade more of their players.
Wing Options the Celtics Could Target
Siegel mentioned in his article that there are two options the Celtics could potentially look into if they are looking for specifically wing depth.
“It is also worth noting that veteran forward Rudy Gay is also a potential option for the Celtics to pursue, as Gay can play either on the wing or at the power forward position and supply them with some extra shooting depth on the bench. Who knows, maybe even Boston considers bringing back Jae Crowder, and they look to target him in the near future!”
Gay will make $6,184,500 for the 2022-23 season, so he could fit into the Juancho Hernangomez TPE. Crowder will make $10,183,000, so he cannot fit into one of the TPEs. Acquiring him would require matching salaries on Boston’s end.
Why the Celtics Won’t Trade for Crowder
After Jae Crowder and the Phoenix Suns mutually agreed to part ways, an Eastern Conference executive explained to Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney why a reunion between him and the Celtics couldn’t work.
“They’d be interested in him if there were a deal to be made, but there is nothing that makes sense there,” the exec told Deveney. “They’re interested. Every team is interested, but it is hard to line up the contracts in a way that makes sense.”
The executive then brought up why the players who would be involved in a potential deal involving Crowder don’t add up between the Suns and the Celtics, though he said he could see Crowder going to Boston if his exodus from Phoenix went one particular route.
“Are the Celtics going to give up Payton Pritchard and Grant Williams to get Jae Crowder? Of course not. They’re not giving up Derrick White for him. So where is the offer? There is no move there that makes sense. ‘Not interested,’ a lot of times, that just means we don’t have the pieces to make a deal.
“If they were to buy out Crowder, I guarantee you the Celtics would be at the front of the line trying to sign him.”