Friday, March 1, 2024

2 buyout candidates Celtics must pursue after 2024 NBA trade deadline

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The Celtics can strengthen their roster by signing either of these players.

The Boston Celtics have consistently been the best team in the NBA this season even before the trade deadline. The Celtics had a successful trade deadline bringing in extra big man depth in Xavier Tillman and also acquiring a young prospect in Jaden Springer. With the buyout market season now here, the Celtics would be wise to target Danilo Gallinari and/or Thaddeus Young.

It’s not like the Celtics need any more depth, but it doesn’t hurt heading into what they expect will be a deep playoff run. They have an open roster spot and could use that to convert someone like Neemias Queta who is on a two-way contract. But it would be wise for them to see if they could grab extra veteran help.

Danilo Gallinari should be the first priority for the Celtics on the buyout market

Gallinari is arguably the best player on the buyout market. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons and only played a handful of games for them before they cut him. Gallinari is a combo forward who can slide in and be the backup small forward. That spot is currently held by Sam Hauser but Gallinari would give the Celtics more of an experienced option.

Gallinari made his return this season after missing all of last year with an ACL injury. Prior to that he had been averaging double figures with the Atlanta Hawks. This year while his numbers were down scoring wise, he was still shooting well in the small sample size he had with the Pistons. Through six games he shot 54.5 percent from the field and 58.3 percent from three point range.

Gallinari is likely going to draw interest from a few teams, so the Celtics will have some competition. But perhaps a key role on a championship caliber team could be enough to entice him.

Thaddeus Young could be the Celtics backup plan on the buyout market

Thaddeus Young in a Celtics jersey

If the Celtics don’t end up signing Danilo Gallinari, they could turn their attention to Thaddeus Young. Young is also a bit of a combo forward but hasn’t been as productive as Gallinari in recent seasons. He’s spent the past couple of years as more of a veteran mentor on the Toronto Raptors.

His presence on the Celtics would be of a locker room kind of guy, but it’s never a bad idea to have a few of those guys especially on a team looking to win a championship. This season, Young has suited up in 23 games for the Raptors including six starts. He averaged 5.0 points per game, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists with splits of 62.1 percent shooting from the field and 41.7 percent shooting from the free throw line.

Should the Celtics sign Young, they probably won’t depend on him too much for on the court production. If they miss out on Gallinari, then simply rolling with that they have should be good enough. There’s been chatter about them possibly converting Neemias Queta to a standard contract and that’s probably the best move.

The Celtics have enough on their current roster to win a championship. Gallinari could give them that extra little push. Young wouldn’t be a bad fall back option but he isn’t necessarily a priority. Gallinari should be the team’s top priority on the buyout market but if they lose out on him, it’s not that big of a deal.

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