Multiple league sources tell Brian Robb of MassLive that the Boston Celtics would likely trade before the Feb. 8 deadline. After guaranteeing Luke Kornet, Dalano Banton, Lamar Stevens, and Svi Mykhailiuk's contracts on Sunday, Boston was believed to be active in the trade market.
If the Celtics are shorthanded or in a blowout, they utilize Banton, Stevens, and Mykhailiuk. Kornet's guarantee is expected since he's played substantial rotation minutes this season. Boston coach Joe Mazzulla has utilized Kornet situationally this season, averaging 14.2 minutes, 5.1 points, and 3.7 rebounds.
Retaining the four non-guaranteed contracts increases the Celtics' luxury tax cost, signaling supporters they'll spend to win.
The C's willingness to guarantee the four contracts does not ensure that those four players would stay in Boston this season, a source informed Robb. The $6.2 million trade exception from Grant Williams' sign and trade to the Dallas Mavericks allows the Celtics to negotiate and salary match multiple league minimum contract players with another rostered player for a more expensive player.
Last week, Celtics head of basketball operations Brad Stevens said he'd like to add a "big wing" to help them advance. “There’s not a lot we can do big without touching our main guys,” Stevens said of deals, implying the core is untouchable. No idea if it will affect the game.
As league leaders with a 28-7 record, the Celtics won't rush to make any moves. The roster works as-is, therefore forcing a move is unnecessary. ESPN's Zach Lowe and Tim Bontemps suggested trade targets John Konchar of the Memphis Grizzlies and Cedi Osman of the San Antonio Spurs, both of whom fit Williams' TPE.
Konchar is in his sixth season, averaging 4.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 17.1 minutes. The 6-foot-5 wing may not play much in Memphis, but his consistency and readiness may appeal to Boston. New players would be employed situationally because the Celtics' rotation is largely set. Konchar would offer Boston a large wing with a career 36.7 percent 3-point shot.
Osman, in his eighth season, is more experienced than Konchar. The 28-year-old played his first six years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, starting under LeBron James. Osman, who averages 9.6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game and converts on 42.9 percent of his field goal and 32.4 percent of his long shot, may leave San Antonio, which is 5-30.
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