By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics are reportedly monitoring the trade market for Danilo Gallinari. But a deal for the Oklahoma City Thunder forward would be pretty complicated, and appears to be highly unlikely.
The Celtics are keeping tabs on Gallinari and Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. With both players carrying a hefty salary — Gallinari is making $22.6 million this season while Drummond is at $27 million, with a $1.2 million trade kicker to boot — Boston trading for either probably won’t happen over the next month.
The Celtics are reportedly adamant that they won’t trade any of their core wing players, leaving Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart as the only salaries that make sense. And in the end, that really wouldn’t make sense for Boston.
It’s unclear if the Celtics are going to trigger a deal, but Drummond and Gallinari are not inexpensive players, and Boston isn’t likely to afford both when landing one will take significant outgoing salary.
For the Thunder, Hayward could be problematic financially, given he earns over $10 million more than Gallinari. They will be paying repeater taxes this season if they can’t get below the $132.6 million luxury-tax line, and they’re unlikely to take on Hayward without including an injured Andre Roberson (knee).
For starters, let’s forget about a Drummond deal. Detroit doesn’t want to add salary, so they’re not going to take on Hayward, who has a $34.1 million opt-in for next season. And the Celtics are not going to create a package for Drummond that involves Marcus Smart, their heart and soul on the court who is also on an extremely manageable contract for two more seasons. Drummond is set to become a free agent after the season, and isn’t the kind of player Boston will send a max contract offer.
Gallinari is an interesting name though, one that has been connected to Danny Ainge in the past. But still, a trade remains unlikely. The Celtics would have to send out at least $17.6 million in salary to acquire Gallinari, and if they do trade Hayward for the 6-foot-10 forward, Boston would have to take on another player — and contract. They appear to like all 15 guys on their current roster, so don’t expect them to jettison someone just to take on another player who may or may not play.
Gallinari, who is averaging 18.1 points, 5.6 boards and 2.2 assists per game this season, also doesn’t really solve Boston’s perceived size issue. And with other teams like the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns also pursuing his services, the asking price will likely be too much for Boston.
While these trades are unlikely, the Celtics are at least exploring some moves. Still, don’t expect too much on the Feb. 6 trade deadline, as Boston will likely look to add via the buyout market.