The Boston Celtics endured a disappointing off-season as they lost Kyrie Irving and Al Horford to rivals in the East - although Brad Stevens' team has been better than expected throughout the first three months of the 2019-20 season. With almost half the season now played, the Celtics sit second in the Eastern Conference standings thanks to a 27-11 record - and Stevens' team has been particularly impressive at home (16-3).
Kemba Walker has proved to be an excellent replacement for the departed Irving, while the young duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have continued to develop into pivotal pieces for the Celtics. Nevertheless, Boston is still short on quality when compared to the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers and with changes possible ahead of the trade deadline, here we will look at all latest Celtics trade rumors you need to know.
#1 Danilo Gallinari is being 'monitored' ahead of the trade deadline
The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Danilo Gallinari's expiring contract as part of the blockbuster trade that sent Paul George to the LA Clippers last summer.
While the Thunder are well on course to reach the playoffs, the front office remains focused on rebuilding - and it is believed that Gallinari is among the players that they are open to offloading.
As one of the best shooters in the league, Gallinari has been linked with a number of teams, and Bleacher Report is reporting that the Celtics are among the teams monitoring the 31-year-old:
While Danilo Gallinari of the Oklahoma City Thunder isn't a power player, he's a legitimate scorer at 6'10", and he's another guy Boston has monitored, per an NBA source.
Gallinari has appeared 34 times for OKC so far this season, averaging 18.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. He is also connecting with 40.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
#2 Key players are unlikely to be included in trade talks
The Celtics' apparent desire to sign an All-Star caliber big has been much discussed since the team missed out on a deal for Anthony Davis last summer, and recent rumors have suggested that Boston would be willing to trade a player such as Gordon Hayward of Marcus Smart in order to secure an elite center.
Nevertheless, Tim Bontemps of ESPN is reporting that the Celtics won't entertain trading any of their best players this season:
The Celtics have shown no interest in trading any of their five high-profile perimeter players (Walker, Brown, Tatum, Hayward and Marcus Smart) and they are the only players on the team making more than $5 million per season.
While it appears that much of the roster will stay together until the end of the season, next summer could be a different story as Hayward will be entering the final year of his contract, while Tatum's long-term future is still in doubt.
#3 A new center is unlikely to join ahead of the deadline
While Daniel Theis has performed better than expected this season, many analysts have argued that the Celtics need to upgrade their options at center ahead of the trade deadline.
Myles Turner is among the names that have been linked with a trade to Boston, although Chad Finn of Boston.com believes that the Celtics' hopes of adding a big may rely on the buyout market:
(Myles) Turner would be a good fit, but he just signed a four-year, $80 million extension, so it would be tough to make anything happen without giving up an important piece. I can’t really see how they had a big unless Tristan Thompson gets bought out and somehow chooses Boston over Los Angeles.
Tristan Thompson's deal will expire this summer, and he has been a key player for a struggling Cavs team this season, averaging 12.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.0 block per contest.Published 15 Jan 2020, 22:31 IST