The Celtics have already undergone a roster overhaul this offseason under the leadership of new basketball operations chairman Brad Stevens. However, they may not have finished their movements yet. Ime Udoka hinted last week that the team is leaning on other veterans and that league sources have told MassLive.com that Boston is still exploring trade options amid a crowded roster with 16 players under. contract.
Another team that is also likely to be in the market for the trade after Sunday night? The Memphis Grizzlies. ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report that the Los Angeles Clippers would make a three-to-one trade with the Grizzlies on Sunday night, with Memphis sending Clippers Eric Bledsoe in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Daniel Oturu.
The Clippers land a potential improvement over Beverley and Rondo at Bledsoe, who just had a bad year at New Orleans. However, the biggest motivation for them in this deal was to save money for Los Angeles. By reducing their payroll obligations for next season by $ 8.3 million in the deal, the Clippers will save around $ 30 million on their luxury tax bill next season, which owner Steve Ballmer should like. .
Where things get really interesting for the Celtics is Memphis involvement. They add two more players to their roster by completing the three-for-one swap, giving them 17 guaranteed contracts for the 2021-22 season. Needless to say, Memphis will be in the market for more trades over the coming week in an effort to narrow its roster ahead of the season, as Wojnarowski reports.
Memphis has already started creating extra long-term flexibility and focusing on young people with their moves this summer. They also cut salary commitments for the 2022-2023 season by $ 4 million by moving Bledsoe’s contract to expiring Rondo, Beverley and Oturu deals.
The Celtics are highly unlikely to have an interest in any of these three players acquired by the Grizzlies. Boston already has a blockade at the point guard following the acquisitions of Kris Dunn and Dennis Schroder this offseason and neither Rondo nor Beverley would provide much improvement for either of these players (when they are in good health). ).
Where things get more interesting from a Boston perspective is if Memphis is more willing to move other veteran players on their roster after this deal. MassLive reported earlier this summer that Boston is one of several teams that have shown interest in Kyle Anderson, 28. The versatile forward is entering the final season of his contract while earning a modest $ 9.9 million. He’s a valuable role player for Memphis, but he’s also a bit older than the squad’s current young core when entering a contract year.
The Celtics would have to give up significant value (a first-round pick or a promising young player) to land him in all likelihood and it’s not clear if Stevens would be willing to pay that price. Anderson’s contract is too big to fit into either of Boston’s trade exceptions, but Boston would only need to send $ 5.6 million in salary for a deal to work according to the wage matching rules. This would give Stevens plenty of options to craft a competitive offer for the veteran.
Even though Boston is unwilling to pay Anderson’s price in a deal, there are a number of low-cost players who may now be more available at the bottom of the Grizzlies roster as a result of the deal. A number of those players are also upgrading on players at the bottom of Boston’s depth chart, so Stevens should explore looking for a potential match on a deal.
The major offseason moves are likely made for Boston, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement on the sidelines for next season. Look for the Celtics to stay active in finding deals to help complete a roster, whether it’s with Memphis or another team.