Top trade targets to increase the likelihood of Celtics…..

Analyst bearish on Boston Celtics trade target’s attributes.

Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics face a championship or bust season. They remade their roster and have arguably the best top six in the NBA. After five conference finals appearances in the last seven years, the franchise is hungry for banner 18, but may need a bit more help.

Shams Charania made it clear that Boston plans to aggressively search for bench help. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, and Al Horford are locked in as their top six, but the Celtics need a seventh and eighth for their playoff rotation. Sam Hauser may fill one of those roles, but the final piece needs to come from the outside.

Boston has draft capital to trade but is light on matching salaries. They will need to find the right piece. Expect plenty of movement and chatter ahead of the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but who could the Celtics realistically acquire?

1. Immanuel Quickley

The Celtics need another piece, but what if they bypass the fringe options and go for a rising talent? There is some risk in adding a veteran in his twilight. From injury to decline, Boston could be left holding a contract that offers little in the postseason. The Celtics have draft assets and could look to pay for one last key piece in someone like Quickley.

The 24-year-old is in the final year of his rookie contract but did not get an extension. He becomes a restricted free agent in the summer of 2024. The Knicks have the right to match any offer he receives, but will they? New York is chasing a superstar and may be better off with a bit more draft capital in that pursuit.

Quickley’s minutes are down this season, but is still putting up 14.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. The 6’3 guard is a plus-shooter and underrated talent. He can get buckets and would give Boston another shot-creator in the postseason. If Immanuel Quickley hits the market, the Celtics should try to acquire him.

Boston has the best record in the NBA and is among the title favorites. They need to find that final piece and get some luck along their journey. Stay tuned to see if the Celtics make a splash before the deadline and how the team fares in their chase for title 18.

2. P.J. Tucker

The veteran was traded to the Clippers in the James Harden deal but has fallen out of the rotation. Tucker has not played since Nov. 27 and isn’t happy about it. Shams Charania reported the two sides are working on a fix (subscription required).

The 6’5 forward played a key role for the Bucks on their 2021 championship team and has advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs for seven straight years. Tucker wants to play for a contender. He has been on five different teams in the last five years, but Houston, Milwaukee, Miami, and Philadelphia were all contenders with Tucker.

Fans know what the 38-year-old offers. He plays stout defense across several positions and can lock up the league’s best scorers. The Celtics would love to have Tucker to put on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, and any star wing they face in the playoffs. He can play either forward spot or some small ball five if the matchup dictates.

P.J. Tucker is a virtual zero on the offensive end at this stage of his career, but the Boston Celtics have plenty of scoring. They need a role player capable of providing a lift off the bench. Tucker’s defense would, but the C’s will have to win the bidding war.

3. Reggie Bullock

It has been a lost season for the 6’6 wing thus far. The Mavericks traded Bullock to get Grant Williams in July. He landed in San Antonio, but the rebuilding Spurs decided to move on before training camp. Bullock was quick to join the Rockets. Houston exited its rebuild but has not found playing time for the 6’6 wing.

The 32-year-old is known as a slow starter. His 3-point percentage and play improve as the season goes on. Bullock is a career 38.4 percent shooter from long range and is known for his ability to guard multiple positions. He played a key role in the Mavericks’ run to the conference finals in 2022 and is looking for more playing time.

Bullock is on a minimum contract after his buyout in San Antonio. The Rockets may sell him for a second-round pick or just buy him out. Boston would be eagerly awaiting either scenario. Bullock could give them another wing to match up in the playoffs as the opposition goes small. He is comfortable spotting up and sinking open looks.

Reggie Bullock is only 32 years old. He struggled last season, but the entire Mavericks squad did after losing Jalen Brunson in free agency. The veteran may just need a new situation to get back on track, and it is a low-cost opportunity for the Boston Celtics with plenty of upside.

4. John Konchar

The start of the season did not go as planned for the Grizzlies. Ja Morant was suspended for the first 25 games, and Memphis managed to win just six times. The star guard hit the game-winner in his return, but can his team dig out of the massive hole? They are 6.5 games out of tenth and 8.5 behind sixth in the Western Conference on the morning of Dec. 21.

If the Grizzlies cannot close the gap by the trade deadline, they could become sellers. Memphis believes they can contend next season, but may try to make moves around the edges. Boston could come knocking for a skilled role player that boosts their title odds.

The Ringer’s Michael Pina detailed John Knochar’s fit in Beantown in a recent piece and even called him a “Poor Man’s Derrick White”. Fair or not, Konchar would give the Celtics another steady shooter and defender off the bench capable of playing 15 to 25 minutes per game.

The 6’5 wing has struggled in Memphis this season and starts a three-year $18.5 million extension in 2024. The Grizzlies could look to move on and give Boston a shot at buying low on a rotation piece. The 27-year-old is in his prime and could play his best basketball surrounded by the talented Celtics.

5. Delon Wright

Wright suffered a knee injury and has been out since early November. He was expected to miss four-to-six weeks and should be nearing a return. Washington is just starting a rebuild, which should make Wright available. The veteran guard has been a part of five playoff teams and is impactful on both ends

The 6’5 guard is a career 35.3 percent 3-point shooter who has never produced a win shares per 48 minutes below 0.117. The NBA league average is 0.100. Wright is a strong playmaker who swiped 1.8 steals per game last season. He has played more than 25 minutes per game for an entire season just once but is a strong reserve option for any contender.

The veteran would be the perfect complement to Jrue Holiday and Derrick White in the backcourt. Boston has the top defensive duo in the league. Add in Wright, who can guard multiple positions, and the Celtics are a touch better.

Assuming he gets healthy, Delon Wright could play 15 to 25 minutes off the bench as a secondary creator, floor spacer, and defender. The 6’5 guard is the perfect option for head coach Joe Mazzulla. The Boston Celtics could look for a bit more size, but if Brad Stevens and the front office wants a guard, Wright will be among the best options available.

6. T.J. McConnell

McConnell often comes up in trade rumors. The 6’1 guard has struggled to get consistent minutes in Indiana this season but remains a strong playmaker. He will never be a lockdown defender, but McConnell competes hard and is not afraid to do the little things that help his team win.

The Celtics signed Payton Pritchard to a four-year $32 million extension before the start of the regular season, but he has failed to lock down the backup point guard role. Pritchard is more of a score-first option. Does Boston view McConnell as an upgrade? He offers more playmaking and defense than Pritchard, but the Celtics could search for someone capable of playing more or adding some size.

T.J. McConnell will be available before the deadline. The 31-year-old is on an $8.7 million contract for this season and has $5.0 million guaranteed for the 2024-25 campaign. The Pacers could be convinced to move on if the Boston Celtics are willing to give up some draft capital.


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