When it comes to the NBA trade deadline, the Boston Celtics are usually somewhere in the mix. Although they are no longer equipped with a plethora of draft picks, the Celtics are struggling and Danny Ainge might have to find a way to reshape his team. The latest reports claim the Celtics have their primary trade target as the deadline draws near.
The Celtics might be the NBA’s biggest disappointment
The NBA is already in the second half of its season, and the Boston Celtics are sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They sport a 21-22 record, which is tied with the New York Knicks. Boston is 1.5 games ahead of the Chicago Bulls for the final postseason slot.
Boston has a pair of NBA All-Stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, yet have been one of the most disappointing, if not the most disappointing teams, in the league. The team has been in disarray all season with player complaints and even GM Danny Ainge saying his roster isn’t good enough.
Veteran point guard Kemba Walker said the team wasn’t playing hard enough. One month ago, Ainge came out and took the blame for not having the right mix of players. “Our roster obviously is not good. I mean, we are a 14-14 team,” Ainge said to Boston.com in February. “There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. That’s who we are. This team, where we are, 14-14, if there’s somebody to blame, this is Danny Ainge to blame.”
The Celtics reportedly have made Aaron Gordon their main target
According to NBA reporter Keith Smith, the Boston Celtics have put their focus on a primary target. The trade deadline is Thursday, and Boston, according to Smith, has a plan. The Celtics are focusing on Orlando Magic’s 6-foot-8 forward Aaron Gordon.
Gordon reportedly has also put the Celtics among the top teams he’d like to be traded to. The Celtics would use their $28.5 million trade exception that they acquired from the Charlotte Hornets in a deal for Gordon Hayward. Gordon would give the Celtics an athletic forward who can also hit the 3-pointer, a big part of the Celtics’ game.
In 23 games this season, Gordon has averaged 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. For his career, he’s put up 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds.
What would it likely cost the Celtics to acquire Gordon?
NBA reporter Keith Smith said league sources indicate the Magic would like two picks and a young player in return for Aaron Gordon. CBS Sports has also reported that a league source said the Celtics have put two first-round picks on the table, and a big-picture deal would also include Evan Fournier heading to Boston and Celtic guard Marcus Smart going to Orlando.
CBS Sports notes that the Celtics’ $28.5 million trade exception will be used, but it can only be used on one player. A separate trade for Fournier would have to be made.
The Celtics have been to the Eastern Conference finals in three of the last four years. With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker, they should still be a playoff team. Danny Ainge is looking to reshape the roster for a second-half push.