With Danilo Gallinari out indefinitely with an ACL tear and Carmelo Anthony not on their radar, the Boston Celtics could be on the lookout for another wing scorer. While their training camp roster is expected to be filled out completely once Brodric Thomas is added to the team, the Celtics may very well keep one of their roster spots open in the case said wing scorer becomes available.
One could be available if the Utah Jazz continue to tear down last year’s team. After the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell for draft assets and young players, the Jazz have multiple veterans potentially available for the right price. A Western Conference executive brought up one wing scorer on the Jazz the Celtics may have interest in, but not via trade.
“I could see them maybe looking at Rudy Gay at some point if he gets bought out, which I think will happen,” the executive said. “But he’s 36, and they’ve been trying to find young veterans, so even there, that’s not their first choice.”
Gay is slated to be paid $6,184,500 for the 2022-23 season, according to Spotrac, so he would fit into the $6.9 million Juancho Hernangomez Trade Exception. However, with the Celtics being well into the luxury tax already, trading for his contract will lead to them having to pay even more in luxury tax bills.
They may not want to do that since Gay also has a player option for $6,479,00 next season that he is likely to exercise.
Gay’s Performance Last Season
After signing a three-year deal with the Jazz last season, Gay averaged 8.1 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 41.4 percent and 34.5 percent from three. Gay also played 18.9 minutes a game, the lowest he’s played on average since entering the NBA in 2006.
Keep in mind that Gay did not play one minute in the 2022 postseason when the Jazz faced off against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Gay has also been to the playoffs a total of four times in his career – including with the Jazz this past season – and has only played 19 playoff games total with the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs.
Brian Robb of MassLive explained why he believes the Celtics should steer clear of Gay.
“There’s no sign here that Gay could be a major contributor in Boston after failing to get on the floor in the postseason for a first-round out last postseason. Given that Gay has guaranteed money on his deal for next season as well, I’d expect Brad Stevens to steer clear of a veteran on the decline.”
Jazz and Celtics ‘Not a Match’ for a Trade
The Executive who spoke with Deveney explained why he doesn’t believe the Celtics will make a deal with the Jazz.
“Danny (Ainge) wants picks, and I am not sure the Celtics are going to give up any more picks,” the exec said. “They traded first-rounders in both of Brad’s first two years, and they traded their pick next year.”
The executive then explained the issues that could surface if the Celtics were to trade their future picks to the Jazz.
“In 2025, you will have Smart, White, and Brogdon all just about at the end of their deals, and they’ll all be in their 30s. You are going to need to restock the roster. They’ve been willing to trade picks now because their guys are all in their prime years. That’s going to come to an end, and they’ll need picks to deal with that… I just don’t think there is a match with Utah for the Celtics.”