The Celtics Offseason

nighthob

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Smart’s a role player, so what you get is salary filler and a heavily protected pick.
 

ALiveH

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I'm 100% on trade Smart - I think it's the obvious move. Hate to say it, have loved the guy throughout his career but at this point trading him would be addition by subtraction. White was clearly better than him this year in just about all phases except passing and I suspect Smart is the type who wears down and falls off a cliff within the next few years given his style of play. I know White is same age & has had injuries in the past, but has like half the NBA mileage in terms of minutes played and was healthy the whole year this year. They have three starting caliber big PGs on the roster (White, Smart, Brogdon) - they can afford to lose one. They'll still retain a very capable backup (Pritchard) who basically got no run this year. It seems like coach was hesitant to play matchups where it meant sitting Smart or play White over Smart at crunch time or as a starter, for whatever reason. If they can get any reasonable approximation of value for Smart at a different position, e.g., a Smart-quality player at wing or big it can shore up other areas of the team. Sweeten it by throwing in yet another 1st to get a more meaningful upgrade.
 

nighthob

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Smart and a first isn’t going to get you much. Smart’s just salary filler and the first is going to be in the 26-30 range.
 

ALiveH

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Smart and a first isn’t going to get you much. Smart’s just salary filler and the first is going to be in the 26-30 range.
Smart is a solid vet rotation player with good reputation for leadership and intangibles. He should be able to net a similar quality player. On the Celtics, he is misutilized so on this roster he might be a net negative given the alternatives. If they can turn Smart + a 1st into a serviceable rotation wing or big, that'd be great.
 
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nighthob

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Look at what intangibles buy you in the NBA. Intangibles and a fiver will get you coffee and a muffin. He’s salary filler. What you’re getting is a distressed asset making Brogdon money.
 

ALiveH

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Similar salary, similar advanced stats as Smart, far better roster fits - Potential targets for straight-up trades: Caris Levert, Gary Trent Jr, Jusuf Nurkic, Norman Powell, Joe Harris.

Similar salary, better player than Smart - would need to throw in some draft capital: Harrison Barnes.

Jonathan Isaac - better player when healthy, makes similar money, would need to be comfortable with injury comeback.

Not that complicated - the team has too many big PGs and utilizes them badly. Get rid of the one to whom minutes were allocated most suboptimally. Smart is a decent player still, but no longer a good fit with this team with a coach unwilling to sit him in favor of better options. The talent capital can be better allocated elsewhere on the roster or in a player who coach can use more optimally to exploit matchups.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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The Celtics pretty much bubble wrapped Al this season, and it's not like Rob Williams played a lot, either. I'm not really sure how much more Horford can be saved other than holding him out of the first rounds of the playoffs.
They didn't, at least not until later in the season, and that is part of the problem. He played 30.5 minutes per game this year - his highest average since 2017-18. His games played and total minutes were down a bit, but that was after a long postseason/reduced offseason. Contrast that with the previous year, when OKC shut him down after 28 games and he had all season and offseason to prep for last year.
 

BostonFan23

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Smart and a first isn’t going to get you much. Smart’s just salary filler and the first is going to be in the 26-30 range.
You seem remarkably confident about this and I'm not sure why. Smart just turned 29, he has 3 years left at very reasonable money, and is a year removed from being the DPOY. His advanced stats took a bit of a hit this year, admittedly. But he averaged a career high in assists, above average marks (for him) in FG + 3PT%, and in the playoffs, is putting up 15/4/6 on 45/36/80 splits for a team in the ECF. If the cost for Smart was "salary filler" 29 teams would line up to pay that price.
 

lovegtm

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FWIW wrt Jaylen, Lowe said on his pod that trade demand for him would be very, very robust if he ended up on the block.

I'm moving back to the supermax not being an obvious move, since 70% of the cap for 2 players is really rough to build around.
 

BigSoxFan

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FWIW wrt Jaylen, Lowe said on his pod that trade demand for him would be very, very robust if he ended up on the block.

I'm moving back to the supermax not being an obvious move, since 70% of the cap for 2 players is really rough to build around.
It'll definitely be an interesting decision. In Jaylen, you have a guy who is still only 26 so the Celtics know, barring injury, they're getting a very good basketball player for the duration of the next contract. But, as you mention, that's a ton of money to tie up on 2 guys. We also don't really know what Jaylen wants either and I figure how this season ends may play into that a bit. Ultimately, it's not much of a stretch to assume he wants that super max and the "respect" it commands.

If they go the trade route, they'd be giving someone a guy who can stop off the plane and average 25-30 PPG, depending on the situation. Problem is it's hard to find trades for Jaylen that don't look like a clear step down, on paper, which would be problematic when trying to keep Tatum happy and trying to build a winner for a team with a supporting cast that has a ton of age/injury risk.

Ultimately, I think he returns without much fanfare.
 

BigMike

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What would Smart fetch in a trade if CBS decided he had to go? Up Whites and Brogdons minutes some, let PP/Davidson fight it out for 3rd/4th guard if the return isn't a guard, or try to get a legit rotational big that a coach can actually count on in the playoffs besides Timelord and Al.

I'm not commenting on Brown because I have no idea what'd he'd get as a return. Mobley and filler sounds like a pipe dream, even if that'd be ideal for roster construction.
Smart for John Collins? do whatever to balance out. Atlanta has wanted him gone for years. Atlanta could use Smart's attitude and edge. Not sure Collins saves this team, but he is a fine 4th/5th best player on a team.

Actually if Brown says he wants gone, I was wondering if Murray/Collins for Brown/Smart. Obviously I think Atlanta needs to add, but if Brown decides to shoot his way out of town, maybe. Going out and getting the younglings from Houston might bring a bit more talent, but probably means you aren't championship contending for 4 years
 

Cellar-Door

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FWIW wrt Jaylen, Lowe said on his pod that trade demand for him would be very, very robust if he ended up on the block.

I'm moving back to the supermax not being an obvious move, since 70% of the cap for 2 players is really rough to build around.
That was a good pod with Marks laying out the new CBA ramifications, and noting that they might go the Gobert route and offer him less than the full 35% but more than anyone else could
 

lovegtm

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I know everyone has small guard PTSD, but what about Darius Garland? I think he and Tatum might be a better offensive duo than Tatum/Brown, and Cleveland lowers Mitchell and Brown's flight risk by putting the buddies together.

Garland is under contract for 25% of cap (less, if the cap rises as expected) for 5 years starting next season, no player options. You then go and package 1-2 of Brogdon/White/Smart for a 3rd good, defense-first player, spending picks to do so in a Jrue-type trade. Turn TL's salary slot into a more dependable center at similar money.
 

BigMike

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I know everyone has small guard PTSD, but what about Darius Garland? I think he and Tatum might be a better offensive duo than Tatum/Brown, and Cleveland lowers Mitchell and Brown's flight risk by putting the buddies together.

Garland is under contract for 25% of cap (less, if the cap rises as expected) for 5 years starting next season, no player options. You then go and package 1-2 of Brogdon/White/Smart for a 3rd good, defense-first player, spending picks to do so in a Jrue-type trade. Turn TL's salary slot into a more dependable center at similar money.
Without an extension agreement in place, I can't begin to imagine Cleveland doing that.
 

lexrageorge

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You seem remarkably confident about this and I'm not sure why. Smart just turned 29, he has 3 years left at very reasonable money, and is a year removed from being the DPOY. His advanced stats took a bit of a hit this year, admittedly. But he averaged a career high in assists, above average marks (for him) in FG + 3PT%, and in the playoffs, is putting up 15/4/6 on 45/36/80 splits for a team in the ECF. If the cost for Smart was "salary filler" 29 teams would line up to pay that price.
I don't agree with nighthob's valuation either, but there is a problem with trading Smart in that he may not be the best trade candidate to bring back an equal or better player. It's a bit of dilemma, as Smart is obviously not good enough to be the 3rd star on a championship team led by Tatum/Brown. But it's also hard to upgrade that slot unless Brown is traded.
 

NomarsFool

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They didn't, at least not until later in the season, and that is part of the problem. He played 30.5 minutes per game this year - his highest average since 2017-18. His games played and total minutes were down a bit, but that was after a long postseason/reduced offseason. Contrast that with the previous year, when OKC shut him down after 28 games and he had all season and offseason to prep for last year.
In games he played. He didn't play in almost 25% of the games. I'm not sure how much more they could really do.
 

Mooch

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How about a "swing for the fences" type trade? Jaylen, TimeLord and Smart to the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. I get the feeling that Indy is trying to figure out what to do about Buddy's upcoming extension and they have the cap room to take on a big Brown extension. Celtics could use a sharpshooter at the 2 and the Pacers could be dynamic with a Brown/Haliburton backcourt and Smart coming off the bench for grit. The talent difference in the guard part of the trade is made up for the Williams/Turner swap.

Who says no?
 

BrotherMouzone

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How about a "swing for the fences" type trade? Jaylen, TimeLord and Smart to the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. I get the feeling that Indy is trying to figure out what to do about Buddy's upcoming extension and they have the cap room to take on a big Brown extension. Celtics could use a sharpshooter at the 2 and the Pacers could be dynamic with a Brown/Haliburton backcourt and Smart coming off the bench for grit. The talent difference in the guard part of the trade is made up for the Williams/Turner swap.

Who says no?
Is this a bit?
 

chilidawg

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They didn't, at least not until later in the season, and that is part of the problem. He played 30.5 minutes per game this year - his highest average since 2017-18. His games played and total minutes were down a bit, but that was after a long postseason/reduced offseason. Contrast that with the previous year, when OKC shut him down after 28 games and he had all season and offseason to prep for last year.
7 games against Embiid probably mattered more than his regular season usage.
 

BigSoxFan

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*Puts on hazmat suit*

What do people feel about Karl-Anthony Towns? Still somehow only 27 years old.

Pro's:
- In his physical age prime so aligns with Tatum's window
- Career 40% 3pt shooter and pretty good passer so could replace Horford role and serve as second scoring option that would be needed when Tatum is "off"
- Good FT shooter at 84% from career
- Good passer for a big man
- Signed long-term (but could also be a con)

Con's:
- Has a "soft" label that he's probably earned
- Has missed a ton of games recently but was generally durable early on in career - which is it?
- Can he handle Boston?
- Gets to $50-60M / year starting in 2024-2025 and will be harder to move, if health remains an issue

A Tatum/Towns pairing would be, talent-wise, about as good as it gets in the league. But, are both guys too passive leaders to work well together? Could you balance that out with more grit throughout the roster without having another Butler/Towns situation? At a minimum, he's one guy I'd poke around, if the decision is to move Jaylen.
 

TripleOT

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Brown for KAT? Boston acquires a guy who plays a different position than Tatum. Added bonus is we can complain about him at least as much as we complain about JB. It fixes Minnesota’s two bigs problem, and pairs Brown with his buddy Anthony Edwards to give them the best non-crippled wing combo in the league.

Having a big who can volume score and also make threes would be a luxury.

EDIT: I like how BigSoxFan thinks.
 

Mooch

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My main issue with Brown is that I'm not sure his issues are correctable. His handle continues to be a problem, his court vision and turnovers haven't improved and now his defense has taken a step back in the playoffs. While I'm sure we can get more than what I floated out there, there are some real questions about whether or not you want to give him a max deal and the book on him is really starting to get around.
 

Mooch

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KAT's conditioning and defense are going in the wrong direction. He's also been terrible in big games. Like disappears completely.
 

BigSoxFan

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KAT's conditioning and defense are going in the wrong direction. He's also been terrible in big games. Like disappears completely.
That's the concern. You'd have to believe that you can reverse all that and get him fully bought in and that his issues are fixable. A fellow Dominican in Horford might be able to help get him focused.
 

Auger34

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How about a "swing for the fences" type trade? Jaylen, TimeLord and Smart to the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. I get the feeling that Indy is trying to figure out what to do about Buddy's upcoming extension and they have the cap room to take on a big Brown extension. Celtics could use a sharpshooter at the 2 and the Pacers could be dynamic with a Brown/Haliburton backcourt and Smart coming off the bench for grit. The talent difference in the guard part of the trade is made up for the Williams/Turner swap.

Who says no?
Oh buddy…that would be Gobert levels of bad. Maybe even worse
 

Auger34

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*Puts on hazmat suit*

What do people feel about Karl-Anthony Towns? Still somehow only 27 years old.

Pro's:
- In his physical age prime so aligns with Tatum's window
- Career 40% 3pt shooter and pretty good passer so could replace Horford role and serve as second scoring option that would be needed when Tatum is "off"
- Good FT shooter at 84% from career
- Good passer for a big man
- Signed long-term (but could also be a con)

Con's:
- Has a "soft" label that he's probably earned
- Has missed a ton of games recently but was generally durable early on in career - which is it?
- Can he handle Boston?
- Gets to $50-60M / year starting in 2024-2025 and will be harder to move, if health remains an issue

A Tatum/Towns pairing would be, talent-wise, about as good as it gets in the league. But, are both guys too passive leaders to work well together? Could you balance that out with more grit throughout the roster without having another Butler/Towns situation? At a minimum, he's one guy I'd poke around, if the decision is to move Jaylen.
I like Towns as a person, I like his story and I think he’s a hell of a player….but his fit in Boston would be an absolute disaster.

Hes also incredibly foul prone, disappears in most big games, and I think has earned the “soft” label (as you mentioned)

I really don’t see it
 

Auger34

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Some names off of the top of my head…
Garland would be very interesting. The Celtics would then have to scramble to acquire a wing, which is easier said than done.

Brandon Ingram. He has better play making ability than Jaylen. Not as good of a scorer and doesn’t get to the basket as easily. Has similar off-hall issues but could be a stud on defense if he locks in

Desmond Bane and picks
 

Mooch

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Oh buddy…that would be Gobert levels of bad. Maybe even worse
Yeah, rethought that one and came to same conclusion.

Would there be a fit with the Bulls? What about LaVine/Caruso/Picks for Brown/Smart?
 

TripleOT

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Some names off of the top of my head…


Desmond Bane and picks
This would make my head explode. They could have had Bane as their third wing, and a few years after trading the pick to Memphis that they used to select Bane, they trade their all league wing that they spent seven years developing for him?
 

BigSoxFan

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This would make my head explode. They could have had Bane as their third wing, and a few years after trading the pick to Memphis that they used to select Bane, they trade their all league wing that they spent seven years developing for him?
That Bane trade will forever haunt me.
 

Auger34

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This would make my head explode. They could have had Bane as their third wing, and a few years after trading the pick to Memphis that they used to select Bane, they trade their all league wing that they spent seven years developing for him?
Trust me, I don’t want to do it. Personally, I think you keep the team and run it back. (Depending on tonight’s result. If they come out and get punked then all options are on the table)
 

Auger34

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Michael Pina just tweeted a Murray, Okongwu and Bey for Jaylen trade idea
 

OurF'ingCity

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The trades being thrown around here kind of show the issue with the "trade Brown" approach - it's just really hard to find a trade where you are getting back a player of equivalent talent, and taking the "trade $1 for four quarters" approach likely means a step down at least in the short term - they'd basically be committing to a mini-rebuild during Tatum's peak which both isn't great from a timing perspective and could run the risk of pissing Tatum off.

I think you basically have to sign Brown to the supermax (although PBS should obviously shop around this summer to make sure some team isn't willing to really overpay for Brown). It's not like this would prevent them from trading Brown down the road if this core continues to not be able to figure it out or if a real trade opportunity presents itself - the risk I guess is that Brown gets really hurt or falls off a cliff but assuming Brown remains roughly the same player he is now for the next few years, there will be plenty of interest in him for years to come so I don't really see this offseason as a make-or-break type deal.

If they follow this path, then everyone else is on the table - the good thing about the Celtics is that they have a lot of pieces that some team or teams might be interested in that they could trade without necessarily taking a step back in the short term. Like, I like TimeLord, but if they could get back a real third banana (ideally one with some grit, which this team sorely lacks) for him (or a third banana+expiring contract for TL+Smart, or whatever), that could potentially work.
 

Auger34

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Eww. I want nothing to do with Murray.
I read it and my first reaction was "....thats pretty good". Then I remembered watching Murray in that series and how he acted..yeah, I want nothing to do with him either. He can go bump refs in a different uniform
 

TripleOT

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I would do the KAT trade before the $1 for $0.25x3 trade with the Hawks. Higher risk but higher reward.
 

BigMike

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The trades being thrown around here kind of show the issue with the "trade Brown" approach - it's just really hard to find a trade where you are getting back a player of equivalent talent, and taking the "trade $1 for four quarters" approach likely means a step down at least in the short term - they'd basically be committing to a mini-rebuild during Tatum's peak which both isn't great from a timing perspective and could run the risk of pissing Tatum off.

I think you basically have to sign Brown to the supermax (although PBS should obviously shop around this summer to make sure some team isn't willing to really overpay for Brown). It's not like this would prevent them from trading Brown down the road if this core continues to not be able to figure it out or if a real trade opportunity presents itself - the risk I guess is that Brown gets really hurt or falls off a cliff but assuming Brown remains roughly the same player he is now for the next few years, there will be plenty of interest in him for years to come so I don't really see this offseason as a make-or-break type deal.

If they follow this path, then everyone else is on the table - the good thing about the Celtics is that they have a lot of pieces that some team or teams might be interested in that they could trade without necessarily taking a step back in the short term. Like, I like TimeLord, but if they could get back a real third banana (ideally one with some grit, which this team sorely lacks) for him (or a third banana+expiring contract for TL+Smart, or whatever), that could potentially work.
But who is going to give up a real third banana , especially one with grit for 40 games a year from TL, and a declining Smart? Especially where TL 2023, does not remotely look like the TL from 2022 postseason . Basically you are reversing and trying to throw our quarters in to try and get a dollar back.

TL and Smart only make sense for a real contending team on the cusp. TL is only 25, but his body is a very old 25. And why would a contending team on the cusp give up a core player.
 

Euclis20

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Kat might work for Boston, and it might work for Minnesota, but does it work for jaylen? Does he want to stay there long term, and is OK with (likely) remaining the number two option? Neither seems all that likely.
 

Cellar-Door

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So I'm less sure now a bit removed from the embarrassing Game 3 that they make any major moves, but if they moved Smart or Brown I think there are a couple ways you do it.

Brown.... First I think you don't move him, you offer and extension (either the full designated, or a modified Gobert style one somewhere between the max he can get as a FA and the max of the designated).

IF you move him, there are 3 ways to go:
1. Trade him for an aging star for the short term ring chase (Probably not Lillard because POR is crazy, but that type of deal)
2. Trade him for a slightly lesser 2nd banana and another strong rotation option that is young and can slot into the spots that will age/contract out (Horford/Grant/Brogdon etc.)
3. Move him for a useful piece and a bunch of draft assets, flip the draft assets for a #2.

For trading Smart feels like the options are:
1. Move him to a contender or fringe contender for a similar level/contract player at a different position (PF/C most likely)
2. Move him to a contender for youth/draft assets that you flip to a rebuilding team.
 

lexrageorge

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Kat might work for Boston, and it might work for Minnesota, but does it work for jaylen? Does he want to stay there long term, and is OK with (likely) remaining the number two option? Neither seems all that likely.
If Jaylen says no to Brad's offer of a supermax, and Minnesota is willing to give it a go, then whether it works for Brown or not becomes irrelevant.
 

Mooch

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But who is going to give up a real third banana , especially one with grit for 40 games a year from TL, and a declining Smart? Especially where TL 2023, does not remotely look like the TL from 2022 postseason . Basically you are reversing and trying to throw our quarters in to try and get a dollar back.

TL and Smart only make sense for a real contending team on the cusp. TL is only 25, but his body is a very old 25. And why would a contending team on the cusp give up a core player.
Agreed. That’s why you would need to package Brown with TL/Smart because he’s the only asset that a team believes they can build a team around and the Celtics would need to get a major upgrade at the 5 while maybe taking something less on the wing. It’s a limited market for sure.
 

Cellar-Door

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I will say one of the more intriguing proposals I've seen floated is Brown to BKN for Bridges, O'Neal and 22. Not sure it solves all your problems, but it gives you a better wing defender who can give you a good portion of Jaylen's scoring and locked into a good deal, the pick you can flip with one of the guards to shore up the big man depth/future. BKN may not be interested though, would come down to whether they think Jaylen's superior offense is what they want to build around.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I am historically and perpetually a Brown defender but I think people would be surprised by how little the negative impact would be if they traded him away and got, like, 1 really good (but lesser) player and a role player or two. So basically the Bridges deal or something like it.

Tatum is that good and the surrounding pieces are already very good.