Report: Celtics willing to trade first rounder to dump Gerald Wallace


The Celtics have a boatload of first-round draft picks, up to 10 in the next four drafts.

They also have Gerald Wallace, who’s owed $10,105,855 next season.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

Gerald Wallace remains the lone veteran contract Boston would like to move and sources say the Celtics would be willing to part with one of the half dozen or so first-round draft picks they have amassed to move him this offseason.

It might be an overstatement to say Wallace, who turns 33 this summer, is done as an NBA player. But if it is, it isn’t much of one. Wallace can play useful defense in short stretches, but he’s an offensive liability. With his athleticism diminishing, he’s probably only declining from here.

If a team trades for him, it’s just to get the draft pick. As a bonus, Wallace embraced his role as a veteran leader with the Celtics, and he could be a good presence in the locker room. But this deal would still be entirely about the pick, which means the 76ers would probably be interested.

The Celtics should do this only once they know how the freed cap space would be used. Otherwise, they’d be better off paying Wallace’s salary – by waiving him or keeping him on the roster; the difference is minimal – and keeping the pick. At this point, it’s too likely that cap space wouldn’t have a productive use – especially if their top target, Kevin Love, has soured on Boston.

But if the Celtics have a commitment from a free agent or another team in a trade with uneven salaries, sure, use a pick to sweeten a Wallace trade. This is the advantage Danny Ainge has generated by stockpiling so many picks. Boston has options galore.