As the February 8 trade deadline looms over the NBA, the league-leading Boston Celtics do not plan to sit idly by and let their contender counterparts have all the fun.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Celtics “have been active” ahead of the deadline. Boston is “looking to package some of their minimum contract players at the end of the rotation and draft pick compensation to bolster their bench heading into the playoffs.”
Scotto listed Kelly Olynyk, Delon Wright, and Andre Drummond as players the Celtics have expressed interest in.
Neither Olynyk nor Wright fits into the Celtics’ Grant Williams TPE, while Drummond’s contract does.
A trade for Olynyk’s $12.19 million salary would have to include Payton Pritchard and four of Boston’s minimum-contract guys to make the money work. Wright makes just $8.19, so Boston could technically get to that number with just Oshae Brissett, Svi Mykhailiuk, Lamar Stevens, and Dalano Banton.
Meanwhile, Drummond could be acquired with just picks and taken into the TPE, as he makes just $3.36 million.
Boston’s reported willingness to package their end-of-the-bench players for potential upgrades could signal a desire to add someone making more than their TPE is worth. However, whether or not that inclination extends to Pritchard is unclear but likely doubtful, considering they just handed him a new contract that makes him poison-pilled in trades.