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Rumor: Celtics eyed a move for Kyle Anderson before Josh Richardson trade

Memphis Grizzlies Kyle Anderson and Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens

It was well expected to be a busy offseason for the Boston Celtics after they named Brad Stevens as their new president of basketball operations. While the Celtics were quiet on draft night, they did make one notable trade on Friday.

The Celtics acquired Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks in a multiplayer trade. Richardson opted into his $11.6 million player option to facilitate the deal.

However, before the deal was all completed, Boston had an eye on making a move for one promising forward: Kyle Anderson.

As noted by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Celtics “had also expressed trade interest” in the Grizzlies’ Anderson.

The report speculates that the Celtics may opt to not re-sign Evan Fournier, who they acquired over last season’s trade deadline. Fournier is reportedly looking for a 4-year contract worth $80 million over the offseason, which the team prefers not to offer the forward such a deal.

Thus, the Celtics are instead looking at other available players to bolster their bench.

The report further added that the Celtics had an interest in New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball and the Grizzlies’ Anderson. However, such interest in both players may have been put to an end for good following their acquisition of Richardson, who is now slated to be the team’s fifth highest-paid player next season.

The Celtics’ intrigue in Anderson certainly spiked following his standout campaign last season. The Grizzlies forward averaged a career-high in points per game (12.4) as he helped the team clinch a spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

Boston could still reopen an interest in acquiring Anderson from the Grizzlies over the upcoming free agency period, but the front office would need to work some cap space magic in order to take in his due $9.9 million salary for next season.

For the moment, the Celtics already have one key bench addition for next season with Richardson. Still, Stevens may not be done just yet in revamping the team’s bench depth.