One potentially big trade that could happen between now and the deadline is the Boston Celtics trying to acquire Danilo Gallinari from the Denver Nuggets thanks to the huge amount of draft picks at their disposal.
The Celtics seem to be on their way to the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Their rebuild was quick process of one bad year and then last season starting to build while in motion, making the postseason only to be swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Cleveland Cavaliers, making it a small drought of not winning a postseason series. This season, at 27-21, they’re looking to actually having home court advantage in at least one series.
But the Celtics seem to be looking for more offense. They score more points per game than anyone in the East but are just 13th in offensive efficiency. While they’re not going to get some superstar to lift their scoring single handedly, there are players who might be better fitting in certain lineups to up tempo basketball, creating for themselves and others.
One player the Celtics seem to be really keen on getting is Gallinari from the Nuggets, who is having a fantastic season on a team that’s better than expected but probably not good enough to make the playoffs in a close and packed race for the final spots in the West. After missing the entire 2013-2014 season he bounced back sluggishly last season but is at his most productive this season with 19.5 points per game.
Taking Gallinari on (27) means one more season of paying him $15.5 million and then a $16 million player option for 2017-2018. Not cheap, but not that much for a player who can score in a number of ways and has vastly improved defensively, not to mention that with the new salary cap rise, it really won’t be that much money compared to right now.
The problem at the moment seems to be the price the Nuggets are looking for: Two first round picks. The Celtics might have to look in other directions because while they do have plenty of draft picks to flip for players and can give up one first rounder, it’s hard giving up two for someone who isn’t an All-Star caliber player, only an upgrade to what they currently have (Jae Crowder).