Derrick White

Celtics Notes: Pritchard, Kornet, Holiday, Luxury Tax

The Celtics have started extension talks with Payton Pritchard, sources tell Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Although Pritchard’s representatives are talking to the front office about a long-term deal, there’s still “a gap to close” before an agreement can be finalized, Weiss adds.

The 25-year-old guard figures to have a much larger role in a revamped Boston backcourt after offseason trades that sent out Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon and brought in Jrue Holiday. Playing time has been an issue for Pritchard, who expressed a desire to be traded in February because he wasn’t seeing consistent minutes.

That shouldn’t be a problem anymore, as Pritchard’s smooth shooting stroke makes him a welcome backcourt partner for Holiday or Derrick White. Pritchard has connected at 40% from three-point range during his three seasons in Boston.

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Coach Joe Mazzulla was preparing to utilize more double-big lineups after Boston traded for Kristaps Porzingis, but those plans have changed with Robert Williams being sent to Portland in the Holiday deal, notes Jay King of The Athletic. Luke Kornet should have a larger role with Williams gone and may see time next to Porzingis, but Mazzulla will likely rely on smaller lineups with the current roster. The Celtics are bringing in Wenyen Gabriel and could look to add more frontcourt help, with King noting that Bismack Biyombo, Dewayne Dedmon and Gorgui Dieng are all free agents, along with Blake Griffin, whom president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said the team would like to bring back if he doesn’t retire.
  • The Celtics had to consider Holiday’s next contract when deciding to acquire him, per Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. The 33-year-old guard will become eligible for an extension on February 22, but he’ll only be able to add two more years to his current deal, if he declines his $39.4MM option for 2024/25. If he waits until six months after the trade date, he can add four years and will have the choice of extending at a lower starting salary than his player option under changes made in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Gozlan points out that Holiday can also pick up the option and extend on a “team-friendly” deal similar to what Porzingis did.
  • Boston’s team salary will reach $222.6MM once the team signs a 14th player, increasing its tax penalty by $14.4MM for this season, Gozlan adds. With Jaylen Brown‘s super-max deal taking effect next year, team payroll is set to rise into the $260MM range. That figure could increase to $350MM to $400MM in 2025/26, Gozlan notes, when Jayson Tatum‘s expected super-max takes effect, if the club extends Holiday and White.
  • The Celtics have options to improve their roster even after sending two first-round picks to Portland to acquire Holiday, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Boston still has first-rounders to trade in 2024, 2026 and 2031, along with eight second-round picks through 2030. The team also has a $6.2MM TPE from the Grant Williams trade.

Latest On Celtics-Trail Blazers Trade

Malcolm Brogdon preferred a fresh start after the Celtics nearly dealt him to the Clippers this summer, The Athletic’s quartet of Shams Charania, Jared Weiss, Jared King and Jason Quick report. However, he did not want to be camp holdout, according to Weiss.

A three-way deal involving Kristaps Porzingis fell through due to concerns regarding Brogdon’s injured elbow. Porzingis, of course, was eventually acquired by Boston in a restructured deal with Marcus Smart serving as the primary outgoing piece.

Brogdown was dealt to the Trail Blazers on Sunday along with Robert Williams and two first-rounders for Jrue Holiday.

Boston didn’t want to part with Williams, but he needed to be included to convince Portland to make the trade, per The Athletic’s report.

We have more on the big deal:

  • Brogdon believed after meeting with the team’s brass earlier this year that he was part of the franchise’s long-term plans, according to Weiss. He was blindsided when he learned the team attempted to include him in a Porzingis blockbuster. Brogdon was also frustrated by rumors he would undergo elbow surgery. He planned to rehab the elbow, as the other areas of concern in his lower body felt relatively fine.
  • Brogdon was also upset when coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters that Derrick White would be the starting point guard during a press conference announcing Jaylen Brown’s contract extension in July, Weiss adds. Brogdon only communicated with top executive Brad Stevens during the offseason and the veteran guard eventually decided he was willing to rejoin the team but still preferred to be dealt.
  • The Trail Blazers were initially seeking a haul for Holiday that included four or five future first-round picks, but that demand eventually softened, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. Holiday can opt out of his contract after the season, but Himmelsbach hears that both sides view his arrival as the start of a long-term partnership.
  • The Warriors were never a part of trade discussions involving Holiday, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. They are comfortable with their guard rotation entering camp. Golden State’s 2024 first-rounder, which was included in the deal, has now been traded three times. Memphis originally traded for the pick, then dealt it to Boston. It’s now the property of the Trail Blazers.

Celtics Notes: Walsh, Porzingis, Brogdon, Hield

With Marcus Smart and Grant Williams both gone, there could be an immediate role for second-round pick Jordan Walsh with the Celtics, writes Gio Rivera of NESN. The 19-year-old built a reputation as a strong perimeter defender during his freshman season at Arkansas and he may get an opportunity to do the same thing in the NBA.

At Summer League, Walsh showed off a scoring touch in addition to his defensive prowess, leading Boston with 16.0 points per game while shooting 42.2% from the field. The Celtics rewarded him with a four-year, $7.6MM contract, indicating that he’s considered part of their future.

For now, Walsh is enjoying the experience of preparing for training camp with some of his new teammates.

“To finally be here, to finally be with the team and finally able to play guys 1-on-1 in practice, it’s been the best time, it’s been fun,” Walsh said (video link). “… Today I was matching up against Derrick White the whole practice. Even playing defense against somebody like him, I always have something to learn. For him, being a leader on the team, being a point guard who steps into that point guard role, there’s a lot I can take from him and I was happy to be able to get a chance to play with him.”

There’s more on the Celtics:

  • Kristaps Porzingis arrived in Boston on Wednesday and has been doing “light on-court work” to prepare for training camp, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Porzingis traveled with Latvia’s World Cup team even though he wasn’t able to play because of plantar fasciitis. The condition isn’t expected to affect him in camp, and other players are excited about what he can bring to the team. “I think he’s an unbelievable player who is obviously really tall and can affect the game in a whole different way that we haven’t had, with his ability to shoot and put it on the floor and attack those mismatches,” Payton Pritchard said.
  • Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon is reportedly unhappy about how the team handled his elbow injury and Pacers guard Buddy Hield is looking for a trade after not getting the contract extension he wants, but Brian Robb of MassLive doesn’t expect them to be dealt for each other. In a mailbag column, Robb points out that Indiana isn’t likely to have interest in Brogdon after trading him to Boston last summer, while exchanging Brogdon for Hield doesn’t represent an upgrade for the Celtics.
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe places the Celtics second in his preseason NBA rankings. He has the team behind the defending champion Nuggets, although he admits there are questions surrounding Porzingis’ ability to stay healthy, White’s transition to starting point guard duties and offensive production from its centers.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Smart, White, Brogdon, Porzingis

Appearing at a PGA pro-am event Wednesday in Memphis, Jayson Tatum promised Grizzlies fans that they’re going to love having Marcus Smart on their team (video link from The Memphis Commercial Appeal).

After spending nine years with the Celtics, Smart was shipped to Memphis in a three-team trade to acquire Kristaps Porzingis. Smart provided a fiery presence in Boston, both on and off the court, and Tatum said he’ll bring those same qualities to the Grizzlies.

“They’re getting a leader,” Tatum said. “They’re getting a guy who’s a winner, who’s been to the playoffs every year. We’ve been to the Finals together obviously, so he knows what it takes to get there. Obviously extremely talented, the best defender in the league. He’s just a guy that you love to have on your team.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics addressed a major offseason priority when they signed Jaylen Brown to a super-max extension, but they have more extension decisions to make, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Around the start of October, Derrick White will be eligible for a three-year extension that could be worth up to $85.3MM. White is projected to take over as the starting point guard with Smart gone, and he’s coming off a second-team All-Defensive nod last season. If the Celtics want to extend White this year, they’ll have until opening night to finalize a deal with the veteran guard, who has two more years on his current contract. Malcolm Brogdon will also become extension-eligible, Himmelsbach notes, but he believes a new contract is less likely considering Brogdon’s age and injury history, along with the six-month trade trade restriction that comes with an extension.
  • Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is a supporter of the new mid-season tournament and hopes his team can reach the finals in Las Vegas, Himmelsbach adds. “I’m a big international soccer fan, and I see they’ve got three trophies they can go for every year,” Grousbeck said. “So I’m already looking forward to it. I like having something new for guys to play for during the fall and give fans something to watch. Let’s see how it goes.”
  • Jared Weiss of The Athletic looks at the lineup options that Porzingis will provide for head coach Joe Mazzulla. The Celtics will have a much taller starting five and can experiment with a twin towers approach with Porzingis playing alongside Robert Williams. Weiss also envisions Porzingis and Tatum being effective with the second unit while Brown is resting.

Atlantic Notes: White, Watford, Giles, Nets, Sixers

Speaking to Malika Andrews of ESPN on NBA Today (YouTube link), Celtics guard Derrick White discussed his changing role, the addition of Kristaps Porzingis, and being open to a contract extension, among other topics.

You’re eligible for an extension at the end of September,” Andrews said. “You’re gonna have a what, three week window to negotiate that. Do you want to get a deal done before the season starts? Is that a goal of yours?

I love being here in Boston, it would be cool to get an extension,” White replied. “We’ll see what happens during that window. But I’ve loved my time in Boston so far and my focus right now is just on the season.”

The 29-year-old has two years remaining on his current contract, which will pay him $36.4MM+ through 2024/25. White’s deal has incentives — some likely, some unlikely — that could increase the total value.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • The signing of big man Trendon Watford is yet another indication that the Nets are embracing a youth movement this offseason, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. Brooklyn selected a pair of teenagers in the first round of the draft (Noah Clowney and Dariq Whitehead), a 22-year-old (Jalen Wilson) in the second round, and has signed free agents Dennis Smith Jr., Lonnie Walker, Darius Bazley and now Watford, all of whom are 25 years old or younger.
  • Free agent big man Harry Giles is holding a workout on Saturday in Miami and the Nets will be in attendance, agent Daniel Hazan tells Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link). As Bondy notes, Giles is eligible for a two-way deal after a clause in the new CBA was named after the former first-round pick, who missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Brooklyn holds one open two-way slot, as our tracker shows. Giles also held a workout in Las Vegas last month, with at least five teams in attendance.
  • In a subscriber-only story for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gina Mizell explains how the Sixers will have the financial flexibility to reshape their roster next summer, despite James Harden‘s trade request hanging over the organization. Both Harden and Tobias Harris are on expiring contracts, Mizell writes, and the 76ers prioritized signing free agents to short-term contracts this offseason. Technically, only Joel Embiid is currently on a guaranteed contract in 2024/25, though P.J. Tucker is essentially a lock to pick up his $11.5MM player option.

Atlantic Notes: Udofia, Raptors, White, Porzingis, Knicks

The Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s NBA G League affiliate, have named Mfon Udofia as head coach, according to a league press release. Brooklyn’s intent to hire Udofia for the G League club was previously reported.

“We’re pleased to welcome Mfon to the Nets family,” Long Island Nets GM J.R. Holden said. “His passion for the game and dynamic coaching style have prepared him to lead our development team on Long Island. Our organization is excited to support Mfon and his staff as they lead the next generation of talent this upcoming season.”

Udofia spent last season as an assistant coach with the Ontario Clippers in the G League. He had prior stints with several other NBAGL franchises.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors may not be done dealing, but The Athletic’s Eric Koreen examines how the rotation might shake out if the roster remains unchanged. Koreen believes either Pascal Siakam or Scottie Barnes must be on the court at all times for play-making purposes and either OG Anunoby or Gary Trent Jr. need to be on the floor for shooting purposes. He also doesn’t see lottery pick Gradey Dick as a member of a nine-man rotation, given the team’s other commitments.
  • With Derrick White the undisputed starting point man with the Celtics, The Athletic’s Jared Weiss breaks down how a pick-and-roll partnership between White and Kristaps Porzingis can unlock the team’s full offensive potential.
  • Miles McBride, Jericho Sims or Isaiah Roby could force their way into the Knicks’ rotation, The Athletic’s Fred Katz writes, though if coach Tom Thibodeau goes with his usual nine-man rotation, minutes will be hard to come by for that trio. Katz looks at various lineup combinations and which starter might play with the second unit when the usual four reserves are on the floor.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Smart, Porzingis, Brogdon, White

After signing his extension on Wednesday, Jaylen Brown reflected on the changes the Celtics have undergone since losing in the conference finals, writes Brian Robb of MassLive. The most significant move was sending Marcus Smart to Memphis in a three-team trade to acquire Kristaps Porzingis. Brown said that even though he and Smart clashed frequently over the years, things won’t be the same without his “brother” and one of his best friends on the team.

“Marcus has been somebody that’s, like, we butted heads at times, we fought, we did it all, we put each other in headlocks, etc.,” Brown said. “The journey won’t feel the same without him to be honest. But it’s a part of life, it’s a part of what you do going forward and everything he’s instilled into this organization, everything he’s instilled into this community is still going to be with us, still carried with us. So we’re going to wish him well on his new journey. Obviously the city of Boston is going to feel the loss of his impact when he’s no longer here, but we’ll be able to keep moving forward.”

Brown indicated that he understands why the deal was made and he sees the benefit of having a versatile big man like Porzingis. However, he wants to make sure the Celtics don’t lose the intensity and commitment to defense that Smart inspired.

“I think what Kristaps can bring to us defensively and the additions some of our other guys can bring to us defensively,” Brown said. “… With Marcus gone, we don’t want our defensive identity to go out the door as well, so we have to really emphasize that at the start of training camp.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Brown wasn’t upset that it took more than three weeks to work out his extension, Robb adds in a separate story. Some of that delay was due to an overseas trip that Brown took as part of his duties as an NBPA vice president, but much of the time was needed to reach an agreement on non-monetary details. “I thought from my standpoint, they understood where I came from, I understood where he came from,” Brown said. “It was all about being in the place where it made sense for everybody and I was glad that we were able to finish it, get everything done and be able to have the community here.”
  • The Celtics are going through a “healing process” and a “listening process” with Malcolm Brogdon, coach Joe Mazzulla told Souichi Terada of MassLive. It appeared Brogdon was going to be moved in an early version of the Porzingis trade, but that changed when the Clippers pulled out because they didn’t have time to review Brogdon’s medical records before Porzingis picked up his option.
  • Mazzulla confirmed that Derrick White will replace Smart as the starting point guard, tweets Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.

Celtics Rumors: Guards, Pritchard, G. Williams, Brown, More

The Celtics are reportedly exploring the possibility of trading a guard from a group that includes Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, and Payton Pritchard. While there has been speculation that the team will look to move one of its higher-priced backcourt pieces, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe hears from a source that financial factors “won’t guide” Boston’s roster decisions.

That means that Pritchard, who has by far the smallest 2023/24 cap hit of any of those four guards, could be the player on the move, though that’s not a lock either. Himmelsbach’s source says there’s no tension between Pritchard and the franchise despite his stated preference to be traded this past season.

Pritchard simply wants to play a larger role, so if the Celtics could offer him that opportunity, it sounds like he’d be happy to remain in Boston. According to Himmelsbach, the team is still high on the former first-round pick.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • The Celtics have received calls from teams about possible sign-and-trade scenarios involving Grant Williams, but the likeliest scenario is that he’ll re-sign and remain in Boston, Himmelsbach’s source says.
  • All signs continue to point to Jaylen Brown receiving and signing a super-max extension this summer, with no indication that the Celtics are thinking about trading him, per Himmelsbach.
  • Phil Pressey, a former NBA guard who played with the Celtics from 2013-15, is joining the team’s coaching staff, according to Himmelsbach, who hears the club will likely add at least one more behind-the-bench coach in the not-too-distant future.
  • Celtics draft-and-stash players Yam Madar and Juhann Begarin aren’t expected to play for the team at the Las Vegas Summer League in July, a source tells Himmelsbach. It’s unclear if either one could still emerge as part of the team’s plans for 2023/24.
  • Steve Bulpett of spoke to rival executives and coaches about what the Celtics should – and shouldn’t – do with their roster this offseason.

Suns Eyeing Celtics’ Malcolm Brogdon In Trade Talks

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Suns haven’t found many suitors for Chris Paul‘s $30.8MM contract, which is partially guaranteed at $15.8MM.

They lack the draft capital to move off Paul’s salary, Fischer notes, and trade rules make it tricky to find a workable deal between two parties, as Paul’s outgoing salary for matching purposes is only $15.8MM, but his incoming salary for his new team would be the full $30.8MM.

That has led the Suns to explore three-team scenarios for Paul, Fischer reports, with the goal of finding a team with cap room to take on the veteran guard’s salary. Rival teams think the Spurs might be an option in that scenario, though it’s unclear whether they’d have any interest in Paul, and it seems unlikely he’d want to stick with a rebuilding club.

Despite already having Zach Collins and the No. 1 overall pick in next week’s draft, which they will use on 7’5″ French phenom Victor Wembanyama, the Spurs appear to be in the market for a starting-caliber center, per Fischer, with the goal of reducing the Wembanyama’s workload as a thin incoming rookie.

As for players the Suns are targeting in the three-team talks, sources tell Fischer that Phoenix continues to be intrigued by Hawks forward John Collins, and he adds a new name as well: Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.

Brogdon, who has a $22.5MM cap hit in each of the next two seasons, could be on the move due to Boston’s financial situation and roster makeup, with a glut of guards that includes Marcus Smart, Payton Pritchard and Derrick White. Fischer confirms the Celtics are looking for help at other positions, and rival teams think White is the least likely of that group to be dealt.

Atlantic Rumors: Celtics, I. Stewart, C. Johnson, Harden, More

The Celtics are exploring ways to improve their roster, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who suggests that a sign-and-trade of forward Grant Williams or a trade involving one or more of the team’s guards are among the options in play. Brian Robb of published a similar report, suggesting that a source told him Boston has been one of the most active teams on the trade market.

According to Robb, the Celtics are looking into whether they’ll be able to move a player from their crowded backcourt in order to balance their roster and upgrade at another position. Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Malcolm Brogdon, and Payton Pritchard are all under contract for next season.

While Pritchard is the most logical trade candidate, given that he sought a change of scenery during the 2022/23 season and wasn’t part of the Celtics’ playoff rotation, it might make more sense for Boston to move one of its higher-paid guards, Robb writes. That would allow the Celtics to bring back a bigger salary in a trade or would help create flexibility to re-sign Williams.

Interestingly, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that the Celtics are among the teams to inquire about Isaiah Stewart. However, Edwards doesn’t expect the Pistons to move Stewart, who will be extension-eligible this offseason.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Atlantic, including another one that involves the Pistons:

  • Following the Pistons‘ hiring of Monty Williams, Nets restricted free agent forward Cameron Johnson – who played for Williams in Phoenix – is rising on Detroit’s list of free agent targets, according to Marc Stein at Substack. But Brooklyn is “quietly expressing confidence” about its ability to retain Johnson, says Stein, which suggests the team either knows what it will take to re-sign him or fully intends to match any offer he receives as a restricted free agent.
  • If the Nets commit to a lucrative new deal for Johnson, will they have to cut costs elsewhere? Stein notes that forward Dorian Finney-Smith is still viewed as a “prime trade candidate,” while Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer hears from sources that Brooklyn has received calls about both Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale.
  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports shares a few Sixers-related tidbits in his latest round-up of rumors from around the NBA, writing that the team appears to prefer another short-term deal with free-agent-to-be James Harden and citing sources who say Philadelphia is “actively seeking” opportunities to trade into the second round of next week’s draft. The 76ers don’t currently own a 2023 draft pick.