Celtics Named Landing Spot for 3-and-D Wing With Family Ties to Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

With the February 9 trade deadline fast approaching, the Boston Celtics are running out of time to improve their current rotation.

Regardless of whether they are targeting another center or a wing to help ease the burden on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics will need to decide whether or not they’re going to make a move in the coming days.

According to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe, Alec Burks is a player who could make sense for the Celtics and is also likely to be attainable before the deadline slams shut.

“The 31-year-old is a dependable 3-and-D wing for the Pistons and is shooting a career-high 44 percent from the 3-point line. Although the play-in tournament has made some fringe teams more reluctant to make deals, the Pistons are in last place in the East and nowhere near contention, and Burks is not a part of their long-term vision. He is making $10 million this season and has a team option for next year. There is a Tatum connection here, too. The Celtics star is the godfather of Burks’s daughter,” Himmelsbach reasoned.

Burks has participated in 41 games for the Detroit Pistons this season, averaging 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 45.2% from the field and 43.6% from the perimeter.

Celtics Could Wait Until The Buyout Market Heats Up

According to a source who spoke with CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith, the Celtics may choose to sit out the trade deadline in the hopes that a genuine veteran shakes loose on the buyout market, noting how there has been mutual interest between Will Barton and Boston’s front office in recent weeks.

“Keep an eye on Will Barton, should he work a buyout with the Washington Wizards. A source told CelticsBlog, “There’s some mutual interest there. Barton would give them another scorer off the bench, and he has big game experience too.”…Chris Haynes reported on the #thisleague Uncut podcast that it’s increasingly likely Barton won’t finish the season with the Wizards. That makes him a buyout target for the Celtics,” The source told Smith. 

Barton, 32, has taken part in 38 games for the Wizards this season, averaging 7.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 37.9% from the field and 37.4% from deep, and would be a legitimate addition to Boston’s bench rotation.

Celtics Could Target A Big Man

According to Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale, the Celtics could decide to part ways with Payton Pritchard at the trade deadline if the return was a genuine difference maker who plays at the center position.

“It won’t be a major-ish acquisition in the vein of Jakob Poeltl that necessitates the inclusion of a 2025 first-rounder. It probably won’t even be a deal that sees them use their $5.9 million traded player exception (expires Feb. 10) without jettisoning other money in the process. But it will be a move that sees them use some combination of Pritchard, Danilo Gallinari’s contract (2023-24 player option) and second-rounders to reel in someone like Naz Reid, Mason Plumlee or Isaiah Hartenstein,” Favale wrote.

However, given Pritchard’s importance to the Celtics due to the insurance he provides at both guard spots, it’s unlikely Brad Stevens would move on from him before the end of the current season, given that Boston is currently expected to contend for an NBA championship.