Could the Boston Celtics add a player to the NBA buyout market, after all?
The Celtics have been onlookers since the NBA trade deadline as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and other high-profile buyout candidates have signed elsewhere. On Tuesday afternoon, however, another player hit the open market when veteran winger Will Barton completed a buyout with the Washington Wizards, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Barton will be eligible to sign with any team once he clears the waivers, and there’s reason the Celtics are interested.
Boston could use some extra fender depth behind the superstar Jayson Tatumwhich ranks fourth in the NBA in total minutes played, and Jaylen Brown, who has missed the Celtics’ last four games while recovering from a fractured face. With Sam Hauser coming out of a shooting slump before the All-Star break, the C’s could benefit from adding a proven veteran like Barton, who averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3 .9 assists per game for the Denver Nuggets last season.
Barton is a versatile playmaker and capable defender at 6-foot-6 and was Denver’s starting shooting guard in the 2022 playoffs, so he would be a good pick-up for the Celtics. This deal is not a slam dunk, however.
Jaylen Brown talks about the “sacrifice” of performing with Tatum on C’s
For starters, Barton is expected to accept a much smaller role in Boston, where eight players – Tatum, Brown, Smart Marcus, Robert Williams, Al HorfordGrant Williams, Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon – all play significant minutes when healthy. (That doesn’t even mention Hauser and Payton Pritchard.) Barton is expected to adopt a similar mindset to Brogdon, who was open to accepting a bench role this season despite starting most of his career. career.
The Celtics also have strong chemistry with their current squad, so president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and head coach Joe Mazzulla should also consider it a good locker room.
But team owner Wyc Grousbeck made it clear he wanted the Celtics to do whatever it takes to win a championship this season, and Barton is a proven commodity who could provide goals and plays off the bench to bolster Boston’s already strong second unit.