What's the rumor?
Following the departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford last summer, there were doubts over the Boston Celtics' ability to stay competitive. However, Brad Stevens' team has shown plenty of promise over the first half of the season, and the Celtics currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 29-14 record.
With Boston in contention, rumors have persisted over the past month that the team could sign a big name such as Andre Drummond or Steven Adams ahead of the trade deadline. However, Jay King of The Athletic is reporting that the Celtics have few resources to pull off a substantial move:
Their salary-cap situation just isn’t conducive to a big deal. After their top five players the team’s next-biggest contract belongs to Daniel Theis at $5 million. They don’t have any bloated bench salaries to swing for a high-priced acquisition. Barring an unexpected decision to break up their core, they are limited in whom they can target.
In case you didn't know...
Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward are each earning more than $32 million this season, while Marcus Smart is owed $12 million. The emerging duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are being paid a combined $15 million - although no other Celtic player exceeds the $5 million mark.
The heart of the matter
The Celtics are currently on track to be contenders in the playoffs, and the front office will be wary of making big changes ahead of the deadline. Due to their cap situation, Boston would have to trade one of their best players to acquire someone such as Drummond - and it is unlikely that they would make such a gamble. Ultimately, the Celtics could still add help in the form of a squad player - although don't expect any significant moves until the 2020 offseason.
After facing off against the Orlando Magic tonight, the Celtics will take on Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday evening.