The Boston Celtics have been dominant, leading the Eastern Conference with an NBA-best 14-4 record thus far, but there’s still a looming early-season concern that’s come into play on multiple instances: bench depth.

Moving on from last season’s NBA Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon and reserve unit sharp shooter Grant Williams was due to leave a void on Boston’s bench. They both played key roles and while the organization ultimately pulled the correct trigger in order to enhance the starting core, the sacrificial lamb of depth has come to backfire on the Celtics, perhaps prompting the front office to explore available options.

With nearly 20% of the regular season in the books for the 2023-24 Celtics, the deadline rumors have already begun, linking Boston to Grizzlies forward John Konchar — an expected Memphis trade candidate.

“Reserve forward John Konchar is also a candidate to be dealt before the February trade deadline. The Celtics, Warriors and Lakers are among teams who’ve kept tabs on Konchar’s situation from afar,” HoopHype’s Michael Scotto wrote Wednesday.

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Konchar, 27, went undrafted in 2019 before signing with Memphis where he’s spent all five seasons of his NBA career. There, Konchar has battled to solidify his role on a Grizzlies team stacked with young talent, utilized for a minor role off the bench.

This season, however, Konchar’s flirted with rock bottom in terms of efficiency, shooting a career-low 32% from 3-point range while averaging just three points in 18.7 minutes per game.

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Obviously, that’s not promising, but the point still stands: Boston should explore avenues for depth additions.

Yes, the starting lineup — with the extension of Al Horford — has proven to be both enough and flexible, but the bench isn’t a fraction as reliable. Through the late-game stretches, aside from wins against subpar teams, calling upon the reserves has signaled some early-season red flags.

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Here and there Sam Hauser will have a night or Payton Pritchard while spotted up from beyond the arc, but is that sustainable? Without the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, can those two lead others off the bench to not only be effective offensively, but also preserve leads that allow head coach Joe Mazzulla to rest the starters?

The NBA trade deadline is scheduled for Feb. 8.

Featured image via Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports Images