The NBA trade deadline has officially passed, with all eyes now turning to the buyout market as contenders look to bolster their rosters. Boston was relatively quiet at the deadline, although Brad Stevens did acquire additional frontcourt depth in Mike Muscala, who is an elite shooter.
With an open roster spot and a $3.2 Disabled Player Exception – due to Danilo Gallinari’s ACL injury – at their disposal, the best team in the league will hit the buyout market as a very appealing landing spot for new free agents and ring chasers.
Boston has a clear hole at wing behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. While Sam Hauser appears to have snapped out of his long slump, it’s hard to imagine trusting him as the third wing in this rotation come playoff time. Luckily, this year’s buyout market should be robust. Let’s break down five potential targets for the Celtics!
In case you haven’t read it yet, check out Keith Smith’s post-trade deadline scuttle article.
Barton is likely the biggest name who could land in Boston after his reported buyout with the Wizards. The 32-year-old veteran wing averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 71 games for the Nuggets last year. His current role with the Wizards has been diminished due to Washington’s plethora of young talent, although he is still shooting 38% from three.
Barton could immediately leapfrog Hauser on Boston’s depth chart as the No. 3 wing. His ability to handle the ball and play 25-plus minutes on a nightly basis would allow Tatum and Brown to rest more and see less usage, which would result in fresher legs for the postseason.
According to CelticsBlog’s own Keith Smith, “There’s some mutual interest there. Barton would give them another scorer off the bench, and he has big game experience too.”
Holiday landed with the Rockets along with a slew of other veterans who will likely be bought out as Houston’s tank-for-Wembanyana campaign continues. The 6’6 wing’s role had virtually been cut in half after landing in Atlanta as part of the Kevin Huerter trade this offseason.
Don’t let the suboptimal shooting numbers deter you, though. Holiday is still a viable 3&D option for a contender. He may not be as flashy as other names on this list, but the 33-year-old provides consistency and would certainly help bolster Boston’s bench.
We meet again, old friend.
Ross has been a name involved in Celtics trade rumors since the dawn of time – or at least it seems like it – and now the team may not even need to trade for him!
Nothing is official yet, but it appears that Ross and Orlando may finally agree on a buyout after years of the Magic dangling him on the block. At 32 years old, Ross simply doesn’t fit Orlando’s timeline, and moving on from him would open up playing time for their multitude of young guards.
Ross is averaging 8.0 points per game in 22.5 minutes while also shooting 38.1% from three, which is his highest percentage since 2018. The appeal with him is obvious, as he’s capable of stepping onto the court and racking up points in a matter of minutes. However, there’s a double-edged sword due to his streakiness. Some nights he’s the hottest guy on the floor (particularly in TD Garden), and other times he’s virtually unplayable.
All of that said, he would certainly welcome a chance to compete for a title in Boston and the Celtics could utilize his skills. He’s just more volatile than the other names on this list.
A three-time NBA champion, Green brings that pedigree to the table and it’s something contenders will not ignore when recruiting him over the coming weeks.
He is another one of those veterans I mentioned who landed in Houston at the deadline. After working meticulously to rehab his torn ACL, he only ended up playing three games for Memphis before being dealt.
Green is the oldest player on this list, but he can still shoot the three at a high level. However, Boston may be even more interested in his defense. The Celtics already have a “sharpshooting specialist” in Hauser, but his defensive struggles are well-documented. Bringing in someone who can hold their own on both ends of the floor could be a priority for Brad Stevens, and Green fits that bill.
Those are just a few players who Boston could target as the buyout market heats up. The Celtics will have plenty of options to explore, and with the Gallinari DPE they are in prime position to land a solid contributor over the next week or so.
Which buyout free agent would you want the Celtics to sign?
This poll is closed