Boston Celtics

  • Brad Stevens and Ime Udoka have both alluded to the Celtics’ need for more scoring off the bench. And it sounds like Stevens is already working the phones to find it.

    A new column from Ian Begley at SNY.tv centers around the Knicks, but contains a Celtics nugget: they reportedly “have a degree of interest” in acquiring veteran Knicks swingman Alec Burks.

    Best known for his time with the Utah Jazz, Burks has bounced around the league like a super ball since 2019. The Celtics would become Burks’ sixth team in just the past three years. But he’s continued to provide dependable shooting for teams in need of spark plugs off the bench, even as he hit age 30 last season.

    Burks shot just 39.1 percent overall in 2021-22 with the Knicks, but he proved he can still hit the three. His 40.4 percent rate from downtown ranked 22nd in the NBA. He can still hit his free throws, too (82.2 percent last season) and chipped in 4.9 rebounds and three assists per game while averaging 28.6 minutes.

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  • Begley’s column centers around the Knicks’ need to shed salary. The Celtics could accommodate them by absorbing Burks’ $10 million via their trade exception for Evan Fournier, which coincidentally was also with the Knicks.

    Fournier’s TPE is for $17.1 million, though. So Stevens should be able to get the Knicks to send them more than just Burks in order to match that. Forward Cam Reddish could make the money work.

  • The Celtics would have to staple a draft pick or two to the TPE and the deal would work out for both sides. The C’s get their bench scoring, and the Knicks get their cap space. How likely it would be to make such a deal is unclear at this point, but apparently, conversations are happening.

    Of course, this little Celtics nugget could turn out to be nothing. At the same time, Stevens has shown in his first year-plus as the Celtics’ President of Basketball Ops that he’s willing to be aggressive and make decisive changes. So there’s a chance that his interest in players is more legitimate than that of, say, the Red Sox or Bruins every time rumors circulate.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 12: Alec Burks #18 of the New York Knicks drives past Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 12: Alec Burks #18 of the New York Knicks drives past Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks in the second half at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    At the same time, the Celtics need to use their Fournier trade exception by July 18, so Stevens has to make a substantial move within the next few weeks. So stay tuned for that.

    We’ll continue to keep you updated on the Celtics’ activity in the off-season here at 985TheSportsHub.com.

  • Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.