The Boston Celtics elected not to use their $17.1 million traded player exception created by the Evan Fournier sign-and-trade to the New York Knicks last summer, letting it expire at midnight this past Monday night.
Gone is one of the team’s most valuable trade chips, but so is the worry that the team would be adding another sizable salary after adding Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White’s combined $75+ remaining money owed over the past five months.
At this point, Celtics fans should be expecting smaller moves around the fringes to put the finishing touches on the current roster. It’s accepted around the league that the Cs made the perfect role-player acquisitions with the Brogdon trade and the Danilo Gallinari TPMLE signing on the first day of free agency.
Now, the Cs need to do something about their lopsided depth chart. The backcourt features four players (Marcus Smart/Brogdon/White/Payton Pritchard) that are ‘definitely not’ all guaranteed to be on roster beyond this season according to MassLive’s Brian Robb.
Heavy’s Jack Simone came up with a mock trade that addresses Robb’s edict as well as Boston’s big man problem. His mock trade features a swap that brings Jarred Vanderbilt to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Payton Pritchard and a 2025 first-round draft pick protected from pick Nos. 1-10.
Pass or pursue a Boston Celtics trade sending Payton Pritchard and a future first-round pick to the Jazz for Jarred Vanderbilt
That’s going to be a no from me the Houdini, dog.
Jarred Vanderbilt stands at six-foot-nine with a seven-foot-one wingspan and an eight-foot-10 standing reach. His measurements are mind-boggling, and the former John Calipari-coached Kentucky Wildcat can bounce out of the building despite breaking his left foot three times before even entering the ‘Association.’
His issues so far have been with his shot selection. Basically, he can only provide a team offense only a few feet from the rim. Per the Salt Lake Tribune, of the 212 made field goals last season, 197 of them came less than 5 feet from the hoop. To boot, of the 15 others he made beyond that range, 11 came from within the 5- to 9-foot range. Two makes came from beyond the arc in 14 shot attempts. More than half of Vanderbilt’s field goals were dunks. That limited shot profile would make him a limited-minutes contributor with the presence of Robert Williams at the starting center spot.
In a nutshell, Vanderbilt makes a ton of sense as an acquisition considering Luke Kornet is now the primary backup pivot. It doesn’t make sense to give up a high-valued asset like Pritchard, a career 41.2% 3-point shooter, though, and it certainly would be even less prudent to package a future first-round pick, even if it is protected , in such a deal.