Celtics reportedly ‘unlikely’ to use big trade exception on ‘substantial piece’


Boston has reportedly already taken steps to get Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari.

Brad Stevens made two moves on Friday that made the Celtics smile. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Celtics made two headlining moves on Friday that could lift them over the top after losing last season’s NBA Finals.

Boston has reportedly agreed to act for Indiana guard Malcolm Brogdon and will sign Danilo Gallinari once San Antonio releases him. The Celtics didn’t give up any major rotation figures with these moves, and they still have opportunities to get better.

The easiest asset the Celtics have to make a move possible is their $17.1 million they received in a sign-and-trade when Evan Fourier left for the Knicks last offseason. However, the exemption expires on July 18 and the Celtics “are unlikely to use this to acquire another significant piece,” according to the statement Those of the Boston Globe Adam Himmelbach.

“That [league] A source said the Celtics had been actively trading with the exception for the past two weeks, but ultimately the deal with Brogdon, whose salary was too high to fit the exception, turned out to be the best option.” wrote Himmelsbach following the reported Brogdon trade.

According to league rules, the exception can only be used to attract players whose salary is equal or lower. The exception also cannot be used to connect with another player to help adjust salaries in a trade. With Brogdon’s salary for the upcoming season being $22.6 million, Boston had to use several players to help adjust salaries to make the move.

The moves of Brogdon and Gallinari, as well as the reported signing of Sam Hauser on Sunday, make it harder to add new players to the rotation. But Boston could eat a bad salary to help facilitate trade down the line.

Heat guard Duncan Robinson has four seasons left on his five-year, $90 million contract. Robinson fell out of Miami’s rotation last season and with the team reportedly in the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes, Boston could enlist him to ease the move. The Clippers have a blockage from players on the fringe. Striker Marcus Morris and guard Luke Kennard have both reportedly been mentioned in trade talks and would fit in the exemption.

Following Rudy Gobert’s trade to the Timberwolves, the Jazz will have several players who fit the exception such as Jordan Clarkson, Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley. If Utah is interested in a rebuild, which ESPN’s Brian Windhorst alluded to in a viral “First Take” segment on Friday, Boston could help out Danny Ainge and take some of the salary from Jazz.

By including Daniel Theis in the trade for Brogdon, the Celtics opened up about the need for a third center. They reportedly made inquiries about free-agent center Thomas Bryant. If they can’t land him, former Celtic and now Pistons center Kelly Olynyk’s salary fits into the trade exception.

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens warned fans after the draft that they might not find the right deal to take advantage of the $17.1 million trade exemption before it expired, mentioning that the team has two minor exceptions that it could take advantage of before the trading deadline.

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