Veteran 3&D Wing Floated As ‘Realistic’ Trade Target For Celtics

Torrey Craig, Boston Celtics

Getty Torrey Craig, Boston Celtics

If the Boston Celtics are going to use the $6.9 million trade exception they created when they traded Juancho Hernangomez to the San Antonio Spurs in 2022, their time is running out, with the exception due to expire on January 19.

Luckily for Boston, there is a plethora of talent that could be available should Brad Stevens and the front office wish to make a move that would add further depth to their roster.

According to Masslive’s Brian Robb, one player that makes sense is Phoenix Suns wing Torrey Craig, who is currently playing some of his best basketball since entering the NBA during the 2017-18 season.

“Craig is having a career year amid the team’s injuries, so it’s unlikely they are looking to give him away. But he would be a nice regular-season option to reduce Tatum and Brown’s minutes without giving up too much on the court. The Celtics won’t be looking to give up much for a 32-year-old on an expiring but could be a realistic option to strengthen the team’s wing depth,” Robb wrote on January 12.

Craig has participated in 40 games for Phoenix this season, averaging 8.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 47.7% from the field, 40.7% from deep, and 78.6% from the free-throw line.

Jaylen Brown To Miss Time Due To Injury

On January 12, news broke that Jaylen Brown would likely miss the ‘next one to two weeks’ due to a right abductor strain. When speaking to ESPN’S Tim Bontemps before Boston’s 109-98 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Joe Mazzulla shared that he doesn’t envision the injury keeping Brown out of the rotation long-term.

“I anticipate it being pretty short…Probably a week or two,” Mazzulla said.

However, without Brown, who has been playing at an All-Star level this season, the Celtics will be forced to go deeper into their bench rotation, highlighting their current lack of wing depth behind their star duo of Brown and Jayson Tatum.

As such, a potential move for Craig would ensure Mazzulla has a high-level rotation player to fall back on when one of his star players misses time due to injury or load management.

Jayson Tatum Dealing With Wrist Injury

When speaking to the media following his 20-point, 11-rebound night against the Nets, Tatum revealed that he’s currently dealing with an injury that is causing some pain in his wrist and fingers.

“If you look at my hand, I’ve got tape on my wrist, tape on my thumb. I had to tape my middle finger and ring finger together. I got a lot of s*** going on. But that played a part, just lingering things, and it was uncomfortable tonight. But I love to play too much to sit out. Yeah, I had some bad misses, but I’d rather be out there still trying to help my team win than not. It’ll be alright…It’s something me and Brad will fight about; when it gets to that point, maybe you’ll see me sit out, maybe not,” Tatum said.

Tatum’s wrist issues are not a new development, as during the off-season, the budding superstar revealed that he had dealt with a non-displaced fracture throughout Boston’s run to the NBA Finals. As such, adding an additional wing player such as Craig, who could legitimately help reduce the workload on Tatum and Brown’s shoulders, could make perfect sense heading into the second half of the current season.