The Eastern Conference was blown wide open following LeBron James' summer move to the Los Angeles Lakers. The superstar's departure will result in the East finally have a new contender in the NBA Finals, after four consecutive seasons of the Cavs representing the conference.
Entering the 18/19 season, the Boston Celtics looked to be the best-equipped team in the East to replace the Cavs, although their season has been a disappointment so far. The team stumbled to a 10-10 start to the season, and rivals such as the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers have been better than expected.
Despite this, the Celtics have shown signs of life in recent weeks, and the team has won 8 out of their last 10 games. Brad Stevens is finally working out how to get the most out of his stacked team, although the Celtics roster is still too large, and a number of players will exit before the trade deadline. So here we will look at three players who are in danger of being traded away from the Celtics this month.
#3 Aron Baynes
Aron Baynes did not make his NBA debut until 2013, although the Australian has since proved himself as a capable player. The center had successful spells with the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons, and the Celtics were impressed enough by the player to pick him up in the summer of 2017.
While the 32-year-old was a regular starter for the first time in his career last season, Baynes' impact has been limited this year. The Australian has started just a third of the Celtics games this season, averaging 5.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assist-per-game.
The Celtics are well known to be gearing up to make a summer move for Anthony Davis, and Baynes' long-term future with the team is in doubt. His performances this season have been disappointing, and ultimately, the Celtics may choose to move him this month as the team looks to free up cap space.
#2 Gordon Hayward
The Boston Celtics acquired Gordon Hayward in the summer of 2017, as the 28-year-old opted to snub the Utah Jazz in favor of signing a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics.
Gordon Hayward joined the Celtics as an established All-Star who had averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists during his final season in Utah, although the small forward suffered a horrific injury during his debut with the Celtics and was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the season.
While Hawyard has managed to successfully return this season, his place in the team has come under pressure. He has featured from the bench for the first time since 2013, and the Celtics were expecting Hayward to contribute more than the 10.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.6 assists that he is currently averaging.
If the Celtics are presented with an opportunity to make a major trade this month, then Hayward will be the likely fall guy, as the forward doesn't appear to fit in with the team's future plans.
#1 Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier played two years of college basketball for Louisville before he was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 16th overall pick of the 2015 draft. The point guard struggled to get minutes in his first two seasons with the team, although the 24-year-old emerged as an important player to the Celtics during the 17/18 season.
Rozier appeared in 80 games, averaging 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, which were all career highs. Rozier also became the Celtics starting point guard during the team's playoff run, due to the season-ending injury suffered by Kyrie Irving. Rozier impressed in his starting spot, and during the playoffs, he averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists, and 5.4 rebounds.
Despite his breakout year, Rozier has since reverted back to the Celtics bench, and the player himself has stated his desire to be a regular starter. The guard has just one year left on his current contract, and the Celtics will likely be forced into a trade this month.