NBA trade rumor season offers up another head scratching rumor. The Celtics obviously aren’t perfect and could use an upgrade in talent. However, acquiring big salaried players is extremely difficult without giving up one or more of their core players. Which is why this latest rumor doesn’t make a ton of sense.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the Celtics are “monitoring” Danilo Gallinari. Pincus also brings up the Drummond rumor, but acknowledges the difficulty of making the salaries work in either case.
It’s unclear if the Celtics are going to trigger a deal, but Drummond and Gallinari are not inexpensive players, and Boston isn’t likely to afford both when landing one will take significant outgoing salary.
For the Thunder, Hayward could be problematic financially, given he earns over $10 million more than Gallinari. They will be paying repeater taxes this season if they can’t get below the $132.6 million luxury-tax line, and they’re unlikely to take on Hayward without including an injured Andre Roberson (knee).
Essentially in order to get either Gallinari or Drummond, the Celtics would need to include Gordon Hayward in a deal. In Gallo’s case, the Celtics would have to take back an additional salary (like the mentioned Roberson). In Drummond’s case, they could take back a player like Derrick Rose or Langston Galloway to make salaries work. And of course there are the “draft pick considerations” that could be thrown in on either side to balance out the value.
The other option is to cobble together Marcus Smart’s salary with Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter, but that option would deplete the frontcourt and rip out the heart and soul of this team. Hard pass.
All that makes sense from a technical perspective, but just from a base starting point I wouldn’t want to give up Gordon Hayward for anyone less than an All Star level player. Drummond and Gallo are really nice players that could help this team, but not at the expense of giving up Gordon.
Hayward has had some (freak) injury issues this year, but appears to be “right” for the first time since his gruesome ankle injury in his first game as a Celtic. He has the option to become a free agent this offseason but the guess here is that he’s sticking around for at least another year.
I get why we need to investigate and “monitor” these other players, but I’m personally not going to put too much stock in these rumors for now.