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NBA trade rumor: Celtics have inquired about Al Horford, Jeff Teague

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Danny Ainge is quietly and aggressively looking under every stone.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another name, but this time we have a real rumor that Danny Ainge called specifically about some players that have been buzzing in the rumor mill lately.

Report: Celtics Inquired About Hawks’ Al Horford, Jeff Teague As Trade Targets | Boston Celtics | NESN.com

"I’ve heard that Boston’s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford," Mannix added. "Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’s someone the Celtics could be interested in. "Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’s going to command a salary north of $20 million next year. But as we know and as I just said, (president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge is a gambling GM. He could make a move like that, too."

As Mannix mentions, Teague would be an interesting fit with all the guards that we've got, but perhaps one or more of them would be heading out the door in the deal (or another deal).  Even if they aren't, we've seen Evan Turner play a lot of point guard and he could swing back to being more of a swing player.

Horford, on the other hand, makes a ton of sense for the Celtics, as our own Kevin O'Connor pointed out last week.

Woj: Hawks could "push the reset button" - Should the Celtics pursue Horford? - CelticsBlog

Horford can hit threes at a competitive rate (career: 32.5%) and he's an excellent threat in the pick-and-roll. Playing Brad Stevens' pace-and-space brand of basketball would work well, since he's also a good ball handler and passer. Horford is a savvy defender that plays strong keep-in-front defense, and can block shots. The Celtics could also comfortably play small ball around Horford, much like they do with Amir Johnson.

It is a risk getting Horford on an expiring deal because he could walk for nothing at the end of the year.  On the other hand, in theory, the Celtics could use that flexibility to structure his next contract along side another max or near-max free agent.  Also, his impending free agency might drive down the price of acquiring him - at least a little.

Regardless, it is an interesting rumor to track as we approach the deadline.  Mannix made it clear that nothing is imminent and that Danny is calling lots of teams about lots of players.  This is just one that I find particularly interesting.