Brad Stevens’ objective appears to be finding a third star player to add to the Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum-Jaylen Brown core.
That might be a project for the offseason, which is why the Celtics’ moves ahead of the NBA trade deadline might be with that goal in mind.
So, it should come as little surprise then that as the deadline nears, the Celtics’ priority is to clear cap space.
“The Boston Celtics’ priority, according to multiple sources, is to clear salary to save on the luxury tax,” The Action Network’s Matt Moore reported in a story published Sunday.
The Celtics do have some tradeable contracts, specifically Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson. There’s also Marcus Smart, but the Celtics historically have seemed resistant to moving him.
Ultimately, it’s a weird line to walk. The Eastern Conference is fairly wide-open, so the Celtics do have the potential to make a little bit of noise — especially since they’ve been showing signs of improvement lately. That said, they still lack the talent to be a legitimate title contender, so neglecting to make shrewd long-term moves in order to keep this year’s group together would be nonsensical.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.