The Boston Celtics are roaring with life right now. After losing in the Finals last season, the men in green have looked dominant this season. The star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have taken turns in taking over games for them, winning in outstanding fashion. Despite all of their talent, though, there's certainly room to grow for this roster.
Certain positions for the Celtics now have a surplus of players that can fetch a decent return on the trade market. Other players are slightly underperforming and could probably use a change in scenery. Let's take a look at which players for Boston should be traded by the looming deadline.
Payton Pritchard is the first and the most obvious candidate to be involved in a trade with the Celtics this season. Pritchard follows a long line of recent young Boston guards that were bumped out of the rotation. Unlike guys like Aaron Nesmith before him, though, it seemed like Pritchard would have a solid career with the team.
Last season saw Payton Pritchard break out as a reliable backup guard for the Celtics. His averages weren't exactly spectacular, just having over six points per game in just 14 minutes per contest. What made Pritchard so good, though, was his outside shooting: he shot over 42% from deep last year. His defense wasn't reliable enough for them lean on him for long stretches, but he could provide a spark for the Celtics offense when they went cold.
This year, though, Pritchard is being outshined by Derrick White and newcomer Malcolm Brogdon. White continued his impressive debut for the Celtics last season after coming via trade: nearly ten points per game on efficient shooting, while also being an able body on defense. Brogdon, on the other hand, has emerged as the perfect bench general for Boston: he's on his way to another 50-40-90 season, currently sitting at 48% from the field, 45% (!!!) from three, and 89% from the stripe. He also brings defensive versatility to a lineup that oozes switchability.
Payton Pritchard, meanwhile, has struggled to find any consistent form this season. He's seen his minutes slashed to just 10 per game, and he's shooting just 32% from the outside. There should be a young team willing to take a flyer on a guard like him that can give the Celtics valuable assets in a trade. The Celtics seem unwilling to deal him, though.
It's rough, and it sounds brutal. Trading a man who hasn't played for you because of an injury does not feel good. However, the Celtics have much bigger aspirations this season, and they have needs that Danilo Gallinari should be filling. At the very least, Boston must consider their options when it comes to a Danilo Gallinari trade.
Gallinari was brought in by the Celtics in the offseason to add playmaking and shooting from the wing position. The Italian forward had a mini-resurgence in Atlanta, where he helped Trae Young and co. in their playoff run a couple of years ago. However, Gallinari suffered a season-ending injury while practicing with Team Italy for the FIBA World Cup and Eurobasket tournaments.
The Celtics still have a gaping hole at their forward positions from the bench. They have good complementary pieces, for sure. However, they still need another ball-handler who can create for himself and his teammate. A Danilo Gallinari trade allows them to pursue that player without worrying too much about the injury risks.