Heading into the season, there was plenty of debate whether the Boston Celtics would be among the contenders in the Eastern Conference. While Kyrie Irving had long been expected to walk away after growing increasingly unhappy, the Celtics also lost Al Horford during a disappointing 2019 offseason.
However, the young trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart have all stepped up over the first half of the campaign, while Kemba Walker has also proven to be an excellent replacement for Irving. A 31-15 record puts the Celtics well in the mix to secure the second seed in the West - and with Brad Stevens' team proving they can contend, the front office could improve the roster ahead of the trade deadline, So, with arrivals possible, here are the top three players that are currently being linked with a trade to the Celtics.
#1 Davis Bertans - Washington Wizards
Not much was thought of Washington's decision to sign Davis Bertans from the San Antonio Spurs last summer - although the 27-year-old has been among the best signings of the season. Bertans has been excellent on both ends of the court for a struggling Wizards team, and Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington is reporting that the Celtics are interested in signing the Latvian:
In addition to the Sixers, Hawks and Lakers, the Celtics and Nuggets have emerged as suitors for Bertans' services, NBC Sports Washington has learned. He is on an expiring contract and thus has become a key trade target for teams in need of shooting.
Bertans has made 37 appearances for the Wizards this season, averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per contest. The forward is also connecting with 42.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
#2 Andre Drummond - Detroit Pistons
After missing out to the Los Angeles Lakers on a deal for Anthony Davis last summer, the Celtics are still on the search for an All-Star caliber big man. They have been linked with the likes of Tristan Thompson and Steven Adams, and Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports revealed earlier this month that the Celtics were interested in Andre Drummond.
Drummond has spent his entire career with the Pistons, and the 26-year-old is averaging 17.3 points and 15.6 rebounds per contest this season. However, Detroit recently lost Blake Griffin to a long-term injury, and at 17-31 - their chances of reaching the postseason seem to be over.
It has been widely reported that the Pistons are determined to trade Drummond before he hits free agency next summer, and with no team so far willing to offer a first-round pick, it is possible that the Celtics could still follow up on their initial interest ahead of the trade deadline.
#3 Danilo Gallinari - Oklahoma City Thunder
While it appears increasingly likely that the Oklahoma City Thunder will hold on to the likes of Steven Adams and Chris Paul for the remainder of this season, Danilo Gallinari could still be traded. Gallinari has established himself as an elite wing over the past 18 months, and with his contract set to expire in the summer, the Thunder may want to cash in rather than lose him for nothing.
Due to his value to a contending team, several teams have been linked with Gallinari, and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report is reporting that the Celtics are 'monitoring' the Italian:
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 featured 40 times for the Thunder following his summer trade from the Clippers. He is averaging 19.0 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting an impressive 41.4 percent from beyond the arc.