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Steve Bulpett, who covered the Celtics/the NBA for 35 years at the Boston Herald, and now works for, is reporting that Brad Stevens and Co. are "extremely active" in discussing potential deals ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

"At this stage, sources are indicating that first-year head of basketball operations Brad Stevens is at the very least looking to unload some salary cap burden (as he did in moving Juancho Hernangomez last week) and clear a path for Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford to get more playing time."

It's well-documented that trading Hernangomez was motivated by getting the Celtics on the verge of avoiding the luxury tax. Expect that to happen by the time the trade deadline passes. Doing so will give Boston greater flexibility moving forward.


Trading Dennis Schroder seems like a sure-fire bet. The Celtics have Schroder's non-Bird Rights, meaning they can offer him up to 120 percent of his $5.9-million salary, which translates to $7 million. Boston could also stay below the tax apron and offer Schroder the $10 million non-taxpayer midlevel exception, but doing so would hard cap them.

Re-signing the veteran guard is unlikely, and at 24-24 and eighth in the East, moving him now to help get below the tax is more beneficial than holding on to him for a playoff run.

However, when it comes to the prospect of trading Josh Richardson, as Inside the Celtics has outlined, parting with a proven vet who's only 28-years-old and can help this team moving forward is unnecessary.

Rather than seeing if more playing time translates to Langford and Nesmith developing into key rotation members, why not pick one, likely the latter, trade the other, and keep Richardson. The veteran wing is shooting nearly 40 percent from three and is a multifaceted contributor. While he's not on a rookie-scale contract, he is on a team-friendly deal, garnering $11.6 million this season and $12.2 million for the 2022-23 campaign.

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Lastly, if Pritchard becomes the team's backup point guard, then in games where they don't have Marcus Smart, it makes more sense to start Richardson than anyone else on Boston's bench.

Further Reading

Celtics Musings: Al Horford's Shot Selection, Rotation Tweaks, Talent vs. Record

What Stood Out in Celtics' Win vs. Wizards: Boston Fueled by Stingy Defense, Jayson Tatum's 50-Piece

Celtics Reportedly Exploring Trading Al Horford

Report Links Celtics to Jerami Grant

Should Jaylen Brown be the Celtics' Closer?

Trade Options for a Celtics Team in Need of Shooters

Celtics' Trade Options Part II: Facilitators