Celtics Winners and Losers from 2022 NBA Free Agency

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2022

Celtics Winners and Losers from 2022 NBA Free Agency

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Boston Celtics potentially moved multiple steps closer to an NBA championship this summer.

    That's a scary thought considering this club finished the 2021-22 campaign just two wins shy of a world title.

    Malcolm Brogdon should scratch an itch for playmaking while also boosting the backcourt with more scoring, shooting and defensive versatility. Danilo Gallinari adds a new dimension as a 6'10" forward with a fiery outside shot.

    Collectively, the Shamrocks did well for themselves, but with free agency effectively finished, who are Boston's biggest winners and losers?

Winner: Danilo Gallinari

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    Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    After spending the past two seasons helping the Atlanta Hawks to consecutive playoff runs, Danilo Gallinari was unceremoniously dumped onto the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs in the Dejounte Murray deal.

    For Gallinari, a soon-to-be 34-year-old on the back-nine of his career, he struck an obvious fish-out-of-water appearance in the Alamo City. That didn't last long, though, as the Spurs subsequently waived him, and the Celtics smartly snatched him up.

    In a little under two weeks, he'd gone from a decent Eastern Conference team to a Western Conference bottom-feeder and finally to the Eastern Conference champs. Not bad, right?

    It gets better. In Boston, he might find even more open looks being able to play off the likes of Brogdon, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Not to mention, the Celtics have the quality and quantity of stoppers needed to mask Gallinari's defensive limitations.

Loser: Payton Pritchard

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    After seeing his floor time shrink as a sophomore and drag most of his stat categories down with it, Payton Pritchard entered the offseason with a simple objective in mind.

    "My first goal is finding consistent minutes every night and gaining the trust where I can be out there 20 minutes a night or more without it fluctuating," he told reporters.

    Welp.

    Unfortunately for Pritchard, Boston's backcourt looks as deep as ever. All three perimeter starters—Brown, Tatum and Marcus Smart—are still around. So is deadline acquisition Derrick White, plus the aforementioned Malcolm Brogdon. Even rookie second-rounder JD Davison scored a two-way deal and could carve out a small niche with his explosive athleticism.

    Where does this all leave Pritchard? Certainly in no better shape (rotation-wise) than last season and arguably in a worse spot. While consistent minutes might help him make a more consistent impact, Boston simply has too many better options ahead of him to make that happen.

Winner: Sam Hauser

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    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Undrafted last summer, Sam Hauser secured a two-way pact from the Celtics and eventually saw the contract converted to a standard, rest-of-season contract.

    While that was encouraging, it guaranteed nothing beyond the end of the campaign. Boston took care of it this offseason by extending him a three-year, $5.7 million contract with the first two years fully guaranteed, per Spotrac.

    Now, by NBA standards, that may not be massive money, but it's a decent amount of security considering where Hauser came from over the last year. He'll have to earn that (and ideally a new deal) obviously, but at least he'll have a chance.

    If he can prove to be a reliable defender, he has a realistic shot at forcing his way into the rotation. The Celtics are deep everywhere other than small forward, where Hauser spent 57 percent of his minutes as a rookie, per Basketball Reference.

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