With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Boston Celtics have a boatload of assets that they would like to cash in. The Celtics have been one of the hotter teams in the league entering the All-Star break, and are currently in position to have home court in the first round of the playoffs. While Brad Stevens has gotten the best out of his team thus far, the Celtics could use a few upgrades. Here are some ideal candidates for the Celtics to look at before the deadline.
1. Al Horford
This rumor has been floating around for some time now. Horford is a cerebral big man, who also has a three-point shot that’s become a major weapon for him and the Atlanta Hawks. Horford is entering the last year of his deal, and there is not guarantee he will re-sign in Atlanta or Boston. If the price were right, the Celtics would be wise to pursue Horford. If not, look for the Celtics to sign Horford this offseason.
2. Gerald Henderson
This would be a low risk move for the Celtics that could pay dividends. Henderson is on an expiring contract in Portland, and fits a need for shooting in the rotation. Henderson’s minutes are down this year in Portland but has a career-high three-point shooting percentage (36.5%). The Celtics could trade David Lee straight up for Henderson thanks to the enormous amount of cap space the Trail Blazers have. If that doesn’t meet their needs, the Celtics have a boatload of picks to attach to Lee in that deal. Henderson could be a veteran anchor to play alongside Marcus Smart and Evan Turner in small lineups.
3. Shabazz Muhammad
The Timberwolves have a good problem and that is they have a lot of young talent coming up, but also have some veterans that need to be cleared to continue the development of the team. While Muhammad isn’t a veteran yet, he could use a fresh start, and may net the Timberwolves a bigger package. Muhammad would be an offensive spark plug on the second unit in Boston and a package of Tyler Zeller or Jonas Jerebko + a late first round pick could work out for both teams.
4. Jusuf Nurkic
There is no indication that the Denver Nuggets feel they need to trade Nurkic. But with the excellent play of Nikola Jokic, Nurkic could net a huge package and Danny Ainge may be willing to pull the trigger on the fiery Bosnian big man. Nurkic is a big time rebounder and has a scoring upside. The Nuggets are still in the process of a Celtics style rebuild and have their own war chest of first round picks. This appears to be the most unlikely of the four, but Nurkic would be an excellent fit if the Celtics can pry him away.