Brad Stevens addresses how Celtics could use TPEs to improve roster in offseason

The Boston Celtics don’t have the luxury of having room for salary caps this summer, but there are other tools the team can use to improve their roster ahead of the 2022-23 NBA season.

One such opportunity is traded player exceptions (aka TPEs).

The Celtics have three of them.

They have a $17.1 million TPE from sign-and-trade that Evan Fournier sent to the New York Knicks last summer. They have a $6.9 million TPE from the Juancho Hernangomez trade involving the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets. Finally, Boston has a $5.9 million TPE from Dennis Schroder’s trade with the Houston Rockets.

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Those are some good sized TPEs that could be used to attract high quality roleplayers.

How do the Celtics view the use of these TPEs? Here’s what Brad Stevens, president of basketball operations, told reporters on a Zoom call Monday.

“I think the trade exception — there’s a reason a lot of the trade exceptions go unused,” Stevens said.

“We have a lot of that at the moment. We have one that is expiring, obviously the big one is expiring in July. We have a few others that expire later. Those are all reasonable amounts that we can pick up good players with so weigh that up ok what is the cost you have to pay are you going to bring someone who adds not necessarily takes away something you obviously don’t want.

“So it’s still a matter of being prudent and thoughtful about what the deal is. We go through the whole list. Udoka) wants to coach.”

What areas of the roster should the Celtics improve with these TPEs?

Well, bank scoring definitely needs to be addressed. The Celtics do not have a consistent goalscorer/scorer coming off the bench who can provide valuable offense when Jayson Tatum and/or Jaylen Brown are struggling or need a break. Derrick White, Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard have filled that role well in spurts over the past season, but consistency has been an issue for all three.

A playmaker or true point guard would also be a nice upgrade. Marcus Smart has done a good job becoming a passing first guard in the second half of the season and in the playoffs, but given the team’s high postseason turnover, the addition of another playmaker would make a lot of sense.

The Celtics are lucky not to have to make any major changes this offseason. A few minor tweaks to the bench should be enough to help the C’s make another deep playoff run in 2023.

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