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Celtics pushed to reunite with $29m up front

The Boston Celtics still don’t have enough depth to handle the upcoming season.

Of course, when Danilo Gallinari was healthy, Boston seemed to have one of the most complete rosters in the NBA, but after his recent ACL injury, it would make sense for the Celtics to dive back into the trade market.

Sports Illustrated’s Brett Siegel believes he may have found a solution as he posits in his Sept. 19 article that the Celtics are taking a step to bring Jae Crowder back to Boston.

“Boston have made it clear that they are also not afraid to spend money to fight for a championship, so increasing their tax burden would not be an issue. However, should the Celtics be on the receiving end of a Jae Crowder trade, they would likely be at least one of two other teams involved with the Suns, meaning someone like Derrick White, Grant Williams or Payton Pritchard would likely have to be in the Zug with a future second-round pick,” Siegel wrote.

Crowder is the kind of 3-and-D wing that could give the Celtics real impact on either side of the court and also add some legitimate post-season experience to the rotation. Additionally, Crowder is well known in the Celtics locker room and would easily fit into the team’s core rotation.

According to ESPN’s Brian WindhorstThe Phoenix Suns are open to a potential trade for Jae Crowder as they seek to upgrade their roster to better position them for a championship run next season.

“Jae Crowder is a player that is available on the market right now. Whether there will be a deal for him to materialize before now and next year’s close, we’ll have to wait and see… From a front office perspective and the people I’m speaking to, the Phoenix Suns is acting like one Championship contender looking to improve his team ahead of camp,” said Windhorst.

Crowder started 67 regular-season games for the Suns last season, all as a starter, and he averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 34.8% from depth and 50.3% shot from the perimeter. If the Celtics are looking for a versatile forward to replace Gallinari, Crowder could be the ideal fit – provided the Celtics and Suns could agree on the framework for a potential trade.

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If Brad Stevens thinks Crowder is too expensive an addition, the Celtics could turn their attention to another veteran forward rumored to be available through trade: Rudy Gay.

On September 19, Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey explained why he believes the veteran forward could be the ideal addition to the Celtics rotation and how a deal to acquire Gay could potentially be struck for just a second-round draft pick could.

“In the last five seasons, Rudy Gay has switched to the 4 (he even spent almost a quarter of his minutes in center in 2021-22) and accepted the fact that he is a reserve. He also shot 36.0 percent of three over that span. If you’re worried about the numbers, Boston has a trading exception that seems almost tailor-made for acquiring Gay’s $6.2 million salary,” Bailey wrote in his Sept. 19 article.

However, Crowder still has a lot more in the tank than Gay does at this point in his career, and if the Celtics are serious about another deep playoff run next season, bringing their former player back into the rotation could be the ideal move .