Reports came out on Friday that the Boston Celtics were going to sign center Greg Monroe to a one-year, $5 million contract using part of the Disabled Player Exception, but another move could be on the horizon prior to Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline.
The idea was to get Monroe signed once he cleared waivers over the weekend, but he’s yet to sign on with the club as of today.
It’s unclear why a deal hasn’t been signed yet, but it might be because of this one thing called, flexibility.
With the NBA Trade Deadline approaching (Thurs, Feb. 8), the Celtics are looking to maintain flexibility when it comes to the salary cap.
Since Monroe hasn’t signed yet, the C’s are sitting with $8.6 million to play with heading into the week. If a deal was signed, they’d be only $3.6 million under the cap and if they were to make a trade and the salaries didn’t evenly match, leaving the C’s over, they’d be hit with a luxury tax by the league.
“They’ve had discussions regarding others, but those two appear to be the main targets as the C’s look to add scoring off the bench,” says Bulpett.
Williams, 31, is in the final year of a three-year, $21 million deal, and could be the next to exit the Los Angeles Clippers organization. So far this year, in 32.5 minutes-per-game, he’s averaging 23.4 PPG, 2.5 rebounds and five assists, while shooting 44 percent from the field, 38 percent from three and 90 percent from the line.
Evans, 28, is under contract through the year after signing a one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies over the offseason. The versatile wingman is averaging 31 minutes-per-game, with 19.5 PPG, five rebounds and five assists. Evans just like Williams is shooting the ball fairly well this year. He’s shooting 46 percent from the field, 39 percent from three and 80 percent from the line.
Both players should bring some much needed scoring off the bench, while adding the roster depth the Celtics desperately need at this point. Especially with the laundry list of injuries the team’s facing. And so far this year, the C’s are shooting 77 percent from the line, so it doesn’t hurt both of them can knock down free throws at a respectable clip.
Now the question is, what would it take to get either player to Boston?
Memphis has been asking for a first round pick for Evans, but the Celtics haven’t gone there yet. But we Denver trying to make a play for him, having offered Emmanuel Mudiay and a second-round pick to the Grizzlies in exchange for the wingman. The C’s could offer a similar deal, but what would they be willing to part with since General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, “seems to be again holding the line on what he believes is proper value.”
And then there’s this.
“The Celts are being careful with their pursuit of wings. As much as they might be able to gain some level of help at the position, they have told people they do not want to do something that would too greatly impede the progress of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who, they believe, will be even better by the postseason because of the minutes they have been getting all year,” according to Bulpett.
Long story short, the Celtics are on the market for a scoring option off the bench, so don’t be surprised if they make an additional move to accompany the signing of Monroe.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com