Celtics Likely to Pass on Previously Linked Big Man in Favor of Grant Williams

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Getty Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Before the February 9 trade deadline passed, the Boston Celtics were mentioned as a potential suitor for Minnesota Timberwolves big man Naz Reid.

However, Brad Stevens opted to acquire Mike Muscala from the Oklahoma City Thunder after missing out on primary target Jakob Poeltl, who joined the Toronto Raptors.

Reid, 23, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the current season, yet, according to MassLive’s Brian Robb, it’s unlikely the Celtics will look to acquire him in the summer.

“Reid will be an unrestricted free agent looking for his first big payday and all Boston will be able to offer is the taxpayer mid-level exception,” Robb wrote. “Reid may not get much more than that annually, but with Rob Williams and Al Horford already under contract and Grant Williams likely to re-sign (barring an ugly postseason finish), bringing in another pricy big is hard to imagine at this point.”

In 61 games for the Timberwolves this season, Reid is averaging 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 52.9% from the field and 34% from three-point range.

Celtics Were Previously Urged to Acquire Naz Reid

In a January 5 article for Bleacher Report, NBA analyst Zach Buckley wrote about why he believed the Celtics should take a closer look at Naz Reid, with a potential move for the floor-spacing big man seen as a genuine option at the time.

“While the Timberwolves have mostly been a mess this season, Naz Reid ranks favorably among their few bright spots. There was a chance the 23-year-old could get crunched out of a frontcourt rotation featuring Karl-Anthony Towns and newcomers Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson, but he has been too productive to sit. His shooting rates from the field (54.6 percent) and from distance (36) are both the best of his career,” Buckley wrote.

Boston currently has a deep rotation at the center position, with Robert Williams, Al Horford, Blake Griffin, Luke Kornet, Mike Muscala, and Grant Williams all capable of assuming the role when called upon.

Celtics Could Trade Mike Muscala Next Season

Despite only joining the Celtics at the trade deadline, there are already some who believe that Muscala’s tenure in Boston will be short-lived. According to an Eastern Conference GM, who spoke with Heavy on Sports’ Sean Deveney under the condition of anonymity, the floor-spacing big man could be traded before his contract expires at the end of next season.

“It is hard to imagine they will keep both of those guys if Gallinari comes back healthy,” The GM said, “But at the same time, the option on Muscala is $3.5 million for next year. It might be worth it to just pick up the option and use him as a trade piece. If you package him with other guys like Pritchard and Kornet, you get yourself into the $12 million range on what you can bring back. So, if they do not have another option they like a lot, they could bring him back as a guy they potentially move during the season or in the summer.”

At present, the Celtics are dealing with some issues within their center rotation, as Williams is recovering from a hamstring injury, while Al Horford is not being used on the second night of back-to-backs. As such, Muscala’s addition was an astute one, but he may be deemed surplus to requirements once the playoffs reach their conclusion.