The Boston Celtics are among the teams expected to make a flurry of moves ahead of the NBA trade deadline. They're currently placed fourth on the Eastern Conference standings despite a 12-11 record. That's not good enough for a team with championship aspirations.
The Boston Celtics don't need to push the panic button just yet, but there are clearly visible chinks in their armor. They need to find a viable solution for the center spot and could also use some playmaking help.
Given that the Celtics continue to fall short in close games, GM Danny Ainge may turn his attention to the NBA trade market to rescue the situation. But the dearth of active sellers this season could force him to execute some bold moves to find useful fits for his team.
With a little over six weeks left before the window slams shut, here are three bold moves the Boston Celtics could make ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
#1 Boston Celtics trade for Al Horford
The Boston Celtics have failed to find a good fit at center ever since Al Horford departed the team in the summer of 2019 in free agency. He had three wonderful years with the franchise but he played with a largely young squad and hence wasn't able to compete for a ring with them.
Horford is having a renaissance of sorts with OKC Thunder after being traded by the Philadelphia 76ers. He's averaging 18.7 points and 7.1 rebounds since the birth of his daughter. Several Thunder players have already benefitted from playing alongside him.
Al Horford's contract would still be a bitter pill to swallow but the Boston Celtics can absorb his $27.5 million salary this year with their Gordon Hayward trade exception.
#2 Boston Celtics trade Kemba Walker for Kyle Lowry
Turning 35 this March, Kyle Lowry is certainly not getting any younger. Yet, he's managed to be useful for the Toronto Raptors on both ends of the court this season. There's been enough chatter about the Raptors wanting to move on from him to believe that a trade for Lowry may be on the cards.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are yet to see the best version of Kemba Walker. He isn't the most recognized defender and is averaging his worst scoring numbers since his rookie season while shooting at a paltry 34.2% clip. Several fans have already called for his head and perhaps Danny Ainge might consider a move.
Lowry could end up being a one-year rental as he's on an expiring deal but he brings a lot to the table including championship pedigree. He's averaging 17.1 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game this season.
#3 Boston Celtics trade for Myles Turner
Myles Turner has been linked to the Boston Celtics for roughly two seasons now and there's no smoke without fire. This would be the right time to take the next step and table an offer in front of the Indiana Pacers.
The Cs have been desperate for rim protection all season and Turner leads the league in blocks, managing 3.5 swats per game. With Domantas Sabonis growing in stature as a post player, the Indiana Pacers should be willing to move Turner's $17.5 million annual salary.
Trading for Turner probably won't be that easy. The Celtics were at an impasse with the Pacers earlier this year regarding a Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade who eventually joined the Charlotte Hornets. The Cs will likely have to give up young pieces and draft stock for a deal to be agreed upon.