The Boston Celtics have a loaded backcourt after a brilliant offseason from President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens — who went against what many thought he should do and simply added to a core that just came within two games of Banner 18 in June. With that said, not every member of the backcourt is expected to be on the team by the time the 2023-24 season rolls around.
Malcolm Brogdon was added in a deal with the Indiana Pacers for Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, a 2023 first-round pick, and non-rotation players mere months after Stevens acquired Derrick White for a 2022 first-rounder, Josh Richardson, and Romeo Langford. Those two join Danny Ainge draft picks Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard in a guard rotation whose members may have to play out of position to accommodate them in the rotation.
Speaking of Ainge, he now runs the Utah Jazz, a certifiably rebuilding squad based on their offseason trades of Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Any veteran with value is set to be traded the minute an opportunity arises, assuming the Jazz don’t become one of the NBA’s all-time great underdog stories.
One such veteran is Lauri Markkanen, who owns a $17 million per season average salary over the next three years. Markkanen was part of the Mitchell deal and, before injuries, proved to be good fit as a big small forward in a supersized Cavaliers lineup. While he wouldn’t start in Boston, he’d be a key reserve and perfect long-term Al Horford replacement.
Heavy’s Adam Taylor cited Sean Deveney for calling out the overinflated value many people feel the former Spurs guard has and fully endorsed moving White for Markkanen:
“…if Markkanen is genuinely available (which is unknown at this point) then Boston should seriously consider streamlining their guard rotation and bringing in the impressive young forward – after all, Markkanen perfectly fits the team’s current timeline.”
The Boston Celtics could add Lauri Markkanen to avoid a Grant Williams overpay
The extension market for Grant Williams would become a bit tougher to navigate should Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens come together with his former mentor Danny Ainge and figure out a Derrick White-for-Lauri Markkanen swap.
Williams is likely worth more to Boston than other teams, and if Markkanen came to town, the Finnish forward would make Grant expendable in case his agent had unrealistic contract demands for the Tennessee alum.