With up to 14 players (pending player options) potentially under contract for the Celtics heading into the 2020-21 season, Danny Ainge has a lot of options this offseason as he tries to improve his roster and build the Celtics into a formidable contender.
With such a crowded depth chart at the moment, consolidation is an option Boston’s front office is going to need to explore. There is not going to be enough room for everyone to play regular minutes in a healthy rotation, and there are necessary improvements that need to be made to bolster depth after a disappointing finish in the Eastern Conference Finals.
To sort through it all, let’s take a closer look at the team’s roster in our first edition of the 2020 Celtics trade value power rankings. We’ll count down the list in the next few weeks, starting with the players with the least trade value and working up to top assets on the roster.
Criteria: This isn’t simply ranking the best-to-worst players on the roster. There is significantly more that goes into a player’s trade value around the league than just talent (although that’s important). A player’s age, contract situation and injury history are all vital factors. Multiple scouts from around the league were consulted as this list was put together.
14. Vincent Poirier
Remaining contract: One year, $2.6 million
2019-20 stats: 1.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, (22 games)
Overview: The Celtics tried to give themselves a variety of options at center last offseason after losing Al Horford and Aron Baynes via free agency and trade. Poirier was viewed as one of four potential solutions at the position amid an emerging overseas career. While some overseas transplants have hit big for Boston (Daniel Theis) in recent years, Poirier probably looks like the biggest bust on this front since Vitor Faverani. To be fair, he never got much of a chance with the success of Theis and Kanter ahead of him, but he looked like a borderline NBA player at best after year one. The Celtics had to give him two guaranteed years of money at more than the league minimum to convince him to come to Boston, and that looks like an overpay now after he spent most of 2019-20 on the bench.
For a team that lacks many roster spots and is looking to contend now, the C’s simply don’t have room for Poirier next year in all likelihood. The problem is that his $2.6-million salary is guaranteed and there won’t be any teams looking to take a flier on him at that price. For Boston, his best value this offseason may be simply as an expiring contract to package to build up salary with other players in a multi-player deal. If the C’s want to simply dump him somewhere, they are probably going to have to include a sweetener (another player or a second-round pick) to get a team to take him. Whether or not the Celtics will do that or simply waive him to eat his cost (and luxury tax penalties) is a question Celtics ownership will have to weigh in on. Poirier was a low-risk miss for the front office but his stay in Boston is likely over.
What could the Celtics get for him? Nothing. C’s will likely need to include an asset to move him.
13. Javonte Green
Remaining contract: One year, $1.5 million (non-guaranteed)
2019-20 stats: 3.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 9.8 mpg (48 games)
Overview: The rookie was a fantastic story this year, earning a roster spot after a fantastic summer league performance in Vegas and a strong training camp with the C’s. He had some meaningful contributions for Boston early in the season when injuries were scattered throughout the rotation before his limitations (27 percent from 3) became more apparent as the season continued. A knee injury in the Sixers series that resulted in surgery took away any chance he had of contributing in the postseason, which was unfortunate since his attacking ability would have come in handy against a zone in spot minutes here or there when others faltered. His athleticism is a great weapon for an end of the roster depth piece.
It looks like there is a place for Green in the NBA but he’s still going to have to fight for his roster spot in Boston or elsewhere next year, and the odds are there won’t be room with him for Boston. He doesn’t have any trade value but his non-guaranteed salary could come be useful for Boston as salary filler in a bigger trade this offseason. No team is going to give Boston anything of value for him since they know Green could easily be cut loose later this offseason due to the C’s roster crunch. Until then, I’d expect C’s to keep him around as a potential trade piece. If not, he will get a chance to stick around in year two against a lot of competition in camp.
What could the Celtics get for him? Nothing of value.
12. Carsen Edwards
Remaining contract: Three years, $5.2 million (third year is team option)
2019-20 stats: 3.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.6 apg, 9.6 mpg, 32.8% FG, 31.6% 3pt (37 games)
Overview: The Celtics hoped the second-round pick and summer league phenom would be a