Wow! Just Wow!
First, the Celtics have reportedly agreed to sign Danilo Gallinari to the Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception of $6.5 million. Gallinari must first clear waivers from the San Antonio Spurs. Gallinari is being waived by San Antonio after being acquired in the trade that sent Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks.
Then, as we all finished up lunch on Friday afternoon and started dreaming of Traded Player Exception targets, Boston took a homerun swing and made a monster trade.
The Celtics will reportedly acquire Malcolm Brogdon from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for a package that includes Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, Nik Stauskas and a 2023 first round pick.
Others will analyze the fit of Brogdon and Gallinari on the Celtics roster. That will come. What we’re going to do here is a roster and salary cap/luxury tax reset.
1. Malcolm Brogdon
2. Jaylen Brown
3. Danilo Gallinari
4. Al Horford
5. Payton Pritchard
6. Marcus Smart
7. Jayson Tatum
8. Derrick White
9. Grant Williams
10. Robert Williams
16. Open – Two-Way
17. Open – Two-Way
· Sam Hauser – restricted
· Luke Kornet – unrestricted
· Matt Ryan – unrestricted
· Brodric Thomas – restricted
Unsigned Draft Picks
· Juhann Begarin
· JD Davison
· Yam Madar
· $17.1 million Evan Fournier TPE – expires July 18
· $6.9 million Juancho Hernangomez TPE – January 19
· $5.9 million Dennis Schroder TPE – February 10
Inclusive of Sam Hauser’s qualifying offer, the Boston Celtics are approximately $18.8 million over the luxury tax line. That’s the cost of taking on guaranteed salary in the Malcolm Brogdon deal and adding Danilo Gallinari via the Taxpayer MLE.
The only signing exceptions the Celtics now have left are minimum exceptions. And they also have both Two-Way spots open.
Brad Stevens said the Celtics needed to add more “scoring off the bench, more playmaking, more shooting and players who fit what we’re about”.
Now, it did come at a minor price. Trading Daniel Theis leaves the Celtics a bit thin up front. Al Horford held up very well last year, but he is 36 years old. He also averaged 35 minutes per game in a long playoff run. And Robert Williams is still often injured.
Boston needs to add at least one more veteran big. Ideally someone who is more of a pure center to play behind Williams and to start for him when necessary. That’s one roster spot, and it will probably be via a veteran minimum signing.
The next need is a wing with size. Brogdon was an outstanding acquisition, especially for such a minor price, but he’s got good size for a guard, not a wing. The free agent market is rapidly getting picked clean, but that could be another veteran minimum signing or a TPE target.
As for the TPEs…don’t get your hopes up too high. At least for the big $17.1 million TPE. There is a difference between paying the tax and paying the TAX. Right now, the Celtics are set to pay the tax. Will ownership really greenlight the TAX on a level of the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers?
If they will, then there are still a ton of options available to Boston via trade. Brad Stevens has shown a great willingness to deal first-round picks, so that also makes things easier to put together trade-wise.
There’s still work to be done, but maybe the big stuff is already complete. But maybe it’s not. The tools are there to do one more really big move. Let’s see what Brad Stevens and staff still have planned. The next week or so will tell us more about how the 2022-23 Boston Celtics roster will look to start the season.