How Spurs and Celtics could help each other again with Doug McDermott trade
By Cal Durrett
The NBA Playoffs are in full swing, but the San Antonio Spurs are at home preparing for a pivotal offseason. The team has the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery and could end up with the first overall pick. Then there's the actual draft, followed by free agency, where the Spurs could have as much as $50 million in cap space.
Although the Spurs probably won't sign a player to a max contract, they could still use their cap space to facilitate trades, including a deal with the Boston Celtics. The Spurs and the Celtics have already made a couple of deals dating back to last February, but the Celtics' rumored interest in Doug McDermott could bring both teams back to the negotiating table for a third time.
McDermott is entering the final year of his contract, and while he has proven to be a valuable veteran to a young team, he can still help a playoff team such as the Celtics. Boston has few valuable assets or tradable contracts, but they might have enough to get a deal done with the Spurs. Let's look at a potential trade and how it would benefit both teams.
What would a Spurs-Celtics trade look like?
This proposed trade would require Danilo Gallinari, who the Spurs previously acquired in the Dejounte Murray deal, to opt into his contract. That shouldn't be a problem since San Antonio would likely waive him after the trade clears, allowing him to get paid while being free to sign with another team. The Spurs could do the same with Mike Muscala and hold onto Peyton Pritchard.
As for the first-rounder from Boston, adding another pick to their treasure trove of assets would make the Spurs loaded in the 2025 NBA Draft. San Antonio would have Boston's, Chicago's, Atlanta's, and their own first, giving them six picks (two second-rounders) that year.
Muscala has played a minor role for the Celtics since being acquired at the trade deadline. Pritchard is eager for a more significant role they can't provide him, and Gallinari hasn't played for Boston following an ACL tear. And since the Celtics likely won't end up with a good pick in 2024, there is a real possibility they would be willing to trade it.
Turning three non-rotation players into a valuable bench piece makes sense for Boston. This trade would improve their depth and free up two roster spots. And adding a high-caliber shooter like McDermott to a team with two stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could lead to plenty of open shots for him, increasing his value.
The Spurs could use their cap space to make another tactical trade this summer. And Boston's rumored interest in McDermott could pave the way for another mutually beneficial deal between these cross-conference competitors.