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Joe Mazzulla, Mike Muscala, Danilo Gallinari, and consolidation trades: Mailbag answers (Part 1 of 3)

You had questions about the Boston Celtics and I have a few answers (results may vary)

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Boston Celtics Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

I opened up the mailbag and the questions just poured in. So much so that I had to break this up into 3 parts! Thanks for the great questions everyone!

TOFTT

My Question - Can you name up to three coaches you would rather have as head coach this year than Coach Mazzula. The context is right now, swap that guy for our guy, this season moving forward.

Fundamentally I wouldn’t want to swap out coaches for anyone at this point. The team has had too much turnover in recent years and unless things take a drastic change for the worse, I’d favor continuity over perceived upgrades at the coaching position. In particular because it seems like the team has bought in to what Mazzulla is preaching. They have a real chance to win a championship as currently constructed so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.

Now if you were to tell me that Joe was immediately retiring to pursue a career as an MMA fighter and we have some magical way of convincing any coach in the world to join the team, I don’t think you could go wrong with Erik Spolestra, Ty Lue, Steve Kerr, or Rick Carlisle. With all due respect to Coach Popovich (a bit past his prime). I would have to think long and hard about Brad Stevens too (though I appreciate his dedication to staying in his new job).

In short, I’ve really admired the growth that Joe Mazzulla has shown in his second year and I think we might have a winner here with him. I think some of that credit goes to his new assistant coaches, but I wouldn’t overlook the role that Joe has had on this team. The guy can coach.

ALittleBitOfSocialism

Do you think consolidation trade ideas are generally unrealistic and a waste of time?

TheJohnBagleyAllstars

Should the C’s pull a consolidation trade to bring in a 9th man and backfill with Grant TPE? In theory they can match out to 12 Mil without touching top-8. So the classic don’t fix what isn’t broken vs let’s go all in for the Banner.

For example:

Kornet, Brissett, Banton, Svi, Stevens, Walsh, 2024 FRP, 3 2nds -> Olynyk

Grant TPE (Portion) -> Fontecchio

Grant TPE (Remainder) -> Dunn

I wouldn’t mind seeing the team use the Grant TPE to add an extra body. The trick is finding a player that helps enough to justify the exponential tax bill (not my money but Brad needs to justify that to ownership just the same).

I’m generally against a consolidation trade this year unless it is such a clear home run that Brad can’t resist. In the example above Olynyk would be a better contributor than Kornet, but it would be hard to fill out the rest of the roster after losing 4 other players off the roster.

For the rest of the regular season, we’re going to need those guys to sop up minutes and fill in for guys needing a game off here and there.

In theory you could put Pritchard’s contract with a few bench guys in a trade. But again, it better be a clear upgrade (which is hard to find in that salary range). There’s a lot to be said for not fixing something that isn’t broken and leaning into the advantage of continuity.

Parquetpower

Now that he’s in Detroit, how about Muscala into the tpe for a second? Detroit needs as many dart throws as they can get. And we liked moose once. Why not twice?

Whetzell

Gallinari and Muscala have both been traded to the Pistons. As far as I know this allows the possibility for us to attain them. I assume they will be bought out. Any thoughts on this?

Several people are asking the same questions and I’m right there with you. If they get bought out either one could technically be picked up by the Celtics and I think it would be worth considering.

Muscala has familiarity with the team and Gallo was technically a Celtic for a year while he recovered from injury. He was such a big Celtics fan that it was a shame that he couldn’t play even a single game for the team.

If we did bring back Gallo, my sense is that he’d be mostly a veteran guy to have on the bench more than his impact on the court. But at a vet min deal, it would be worth it just for the vibes.

Muscala would be a welcome addition as well. He wouldn’t likely be a big part of the playoff rotation, but he’s another guy that could eat up innings during the regular season.

ItsAboutFamily

Spurs have made both Doug McDermott (Dougie McBuckets) and Cedi Osman available for trades. Doug is probably too expensive, but Cedi has looked pretty good and has 6.7million on his current contract. Should Brad pursue either of them?

While Osman would be an interesting flyer as a “big wing” it doesn’t appear that he fits into the Grant Williams TPE.

hurdler17

How does the team match up against the big line ups of Philadelphia, Minnesota and Denver? And why aren’t we investing playing time into Queta?

Queta had a run of games where he was used over Kornet and now Kornet is getting his run. I think the staff is going to experiment in blocks of games to give each of them an opportunity against a few different kinds of opponents to see how they respond.

In theory, in the 2nd half of the year they should have a better feel for which kinds of matchups work better. Perhaps if we need help with rebounding Queta would be the one Joe taps in that game. Or if we need more length and positional defense, Kornet would get the nod.

When fully healthy and well rested (the playoffs typically have enough rest days between games) I think the Celtics match up well against anyone. Of course Embiid, Giannis, and Jokic will get theirs and deliver gaudy stat lines. But the Celtics can send a variety of bigs at them and our guards and wings can disrupt the gameplan around them.

dmick34

Will free throw shooting or lack of it be a factor for this team come playoff time or will our guys value those shots more when it really counts?

100’s of different things could go wrong in the playoffs and derail this team from achieving their goals. Like say a Miami Heat team shooting the 3 ball ridiculously higher than their averages for an entire series (only to fall back to normal in the Finals). A few bad calls, a few bad bounces, a poorly timed injury, the list goes on. Maybe free throws could do it too, who knows?

Winning a title is hard. At this point all you can do is play the odds. The Celtics are one of the favorites to win it all, but I try not to stay up nights worrying about all the ways they might not.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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