Friday, March 31 2023

The Boston Celtics have been looking into the availability of Detroit Pistons big man Nerlens Noel according to The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III. The Celtics are not the only team asking after Noel, however, with Edwards reporting that the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, and Philadelphia 76ers have also inquired after the Malden, Massachusetts native.

Noel has not been playing much with the Pistons this season, having only appeared in a total of just 13 contests with Detroit, and might be better suited as a potential buyout target given the depth of the Pistons’ frontcourt at present with Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III, Isaiah Livers, and Kevin Knox all ahead of him in terms of minutes.

The 6-foot-11, 220 lb. 28-year-old has 8 seasons of experience with career averages of 7.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game, and will earn $9.2 million this season with a player option he will presumably pick up for 9.6 million next season.

We think it more likely that Boston will look to pursue him in a buyout capacity than an outright deal given what Boston would need to send out to create a trade that makes sense for the team.

The Celtics might be amenable to flipping the contract of injured veteran swingman Danilo Gallinari if they are concerned about having the Italian forward’s salary on their books next season if there are concerns about his ability to contribute to the team while on it.

If that were the case, an offer built around Gallo, Justin Jackson, and perhaps a second-round pick might be what Boston hopes to accomplish with a call to Detroit.

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