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Five not-so-obvious potential trading targets for the Boston Celtics

Let's use our imaginations.

Could Jimmer Fredette and Kenneth Faried be targets for the Boston Celtics?
Could Jimmer Fredette and Kenneth Faried be targets for the Boston Celtics?
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

Boston Celtics fans always seem to mention one of these many players when discussing potential trades: Carmelo Anthony, Omer Asik, Harrison Barnes, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Kevin Love, Greg Monroe, and Josh Smith.

But who are some players that no one really talks about? After all, don't most trades happen when we least expect it?

It makes more sense to think outside the box when searching for possible deals, so here are five not-so-obvious players the Celtics could make a trade for:

SG Arron Afflalo, Orlando

Brad Stevens recently talked about how his motion-offense requires a three-point specialist, so what marquee player on the trading market fits that role? Arron Afflalo most certainly does. He shoots 39 percent from three for his career, and is currently in the middle of a career season, averaging 19.4 points per game with the Magic.

Afflalo's career-night.

But Afflalo brings a lot more than just shooting. For years, he was a traditional "3-and-D" role player, and has made a name for himself with his ability to defend multiple positions. And since Orlando thrust Afflalo into a feature role, he has proven to be a solid post-up option, as well as a pick-and-roll ball handler.

Orlando is reportedly shopping him for future assets or young players, which Boston has plenty of. At only 28-years-old with two years left on his contract, any move would help the Celtics now just as much as it would later. Perhaps the Celtics could send draft picks and an expiring contract like Kris Humphries to Orlando. Or maybe a package involving Avery Bradley in return for the All-Star shooting guard could work.

PF Kenneth Faried, Denver

The Nuggets have vehemently denied that Kenneth Faried will be traded this season, which means absolutely nothing, as Celtics fans understand when it comes to Rondo rumors. The "Manimal" is only 24-years-old and has one more year left on his deal until he becomes a restricted free agent, but his shoddy defense has hurt Denver in the stacked Western Conference, which is why he's being shopped.

2012 NBA lockout fun: Rondo to Faried for the slam!

They also need help at the shooting guard position, so Boston could help the Nuggets in a number of different ways. With players like Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, and Jeff Green on the block, the Celtics have a number of different appealing options for Denver. Someone like Green could conceivably start at power forward or shooting guard for Denver, and a veteran like Bass would provide a significant upgrade defensively.

One might argue that the Celtics have plenty of young talent at the big man positions, which is true, but that spot lacks athleticism, which is why Faried's presence would help so much. In any deal, a guy like Andre Miller would probably have to be included, which would give the Celtics a reliable backup point guard this year and next.

PG Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento

The idea of Jimmer Fredette going to Boston has bounced around quite a bit the past few seasons. He's a knockdown three-point shooter, and Danny Ainge absolutely loves his fellow BYU Cougar alumni. Three years ago, when Fredette was prevailing in college, Ainge said, "He's going to be a first round pick and I think his game will translate."

Let him play.

Ainge was partially right, since Fredette was drafted tenth, but his game still hasn't translated to the NBA since he hasn't received much of an opportunity from the Kings. Fredette's averaging only 15.1 minutes per game in his career, but he's still a career 40.2 percent three-point shooter, and is stroking it at a ridiculous 49.3 percent this season.

Avery Bradley leads Celtics guards with a 23.4 usage rate, but lacks the shooting expertise that Fredette possesses. Boston could very well deal a future first round draft pick and an expiring contract in return for Fredette.

PG Pierre Jackson, New Orleans

Rookie point guard Phil Pressey is having quite a productive rookie year for the Boston Celtics, averaging 2.6 assists to only 1.0 turnover per game this season. But is the tiny guard really a part of Boston's future? Orien Greene, Allan Ray, and Lester Hudson are other "nice, young guards" who had futures with the team, but all three of them are now out of the league.

Jackson broke the NBADL single-game scoring record with 58 points.

Pressey might fall into that category, because he most definitely doesn't have the dynamic potential of a comparably undersized point guard like Pierre Jackson. The 5-foot-10 Jackson is dominating the D-League, averaging 29.1 points and 6.2 assists, so why isn't he on an NBA roster? Well, he's stuck in limbo, since the Pelicans own his draft rights but haven't signed him to a contract.

Jackson is often compared to Nate Robinson because he's small and has electric scoring abilities, but he likely has much better pure point guard skills. With plenty of tradable assets, the Celtics could easily deal a future first round draft pick to New Orleans in return for Pierre Jackson.

C Larry Sanders, Milwaukee

Check out this triple-double by Sanders.

If it's true that the Celtics pushed hard to trade for Houston center Omer Asik, it's easy to understand if they have interest in Milwaukee's Larry Sanders. Like Asik, Sanders is one of the better defensive and rebounding bigs in the NBA. But at 25-years-old, he also brings youth and upside.

Unfortunately, Sanders has had a toxic attitude since signing a four year, $44 million dollar contract extension this past offseason. The 6-foot-11 center tore a ligament in his thumb after a fight at a nightclub early in the season. Since returning, teammates have questioned his love for the game. And not to mention he's currently out for six weeks with an orbital bone fracture, which has hurt his trade value.

But that's why he might be an appealing option for the Celtics, since Milwaukee may want to sell on him. Last season the Bucks allowed 111.9 points per 100 possessions when he was off the court, but only 102.5 when he was playing. When healthy, Sanders is one of the best in the NBA at protecting the rim, so it'd be a bit surprising if Danny Ainge didn't at least inquire about Sanders. It's worth noting that any deal would be complicated, and would likely require a third team to make it work.


Which of these five players would you like to see the Celtics make an offer for? Vote in the poll and comment below, or tweet me @KevinOConnorNBA with your thoughts.

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