It’s all quiet on the trade deadline front and depending on how you see the Celtics who have now won ten of their last eleven games, that’s good news. And per The Herald’s Steve Bulpett, Danny Ainge could wait until the buyout market to fill a roster spot:
But according to teams that have spoken to them, the Celts may be looking more at players around the edges, rather than at more significant deals, as Thursday’s trade deadline approaches.
In fact, they could be more active in the buyout market later, if, as most anticipate, a roster spot will become free when the Jabari Bird situation is adjudicated by the league office.
Last week, Bird pleaded not guilty to new charges in his ongoing domestic violence case dating back to September. If the NBA determines that Bird violated their domestic violence policy, he’d effectively be suspended and that could open up the 15th roster spot for the Celtics. Boston still has the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.3M if they wanted to try and outbid anybody for a bought out player.
It’s difficult to speculate what Boston could be in the market for, but if there’s a depth need, it could be at center. With Aron Baynes out until the All-Star break having already missed significant time due to a broken hand, it’s conceivable that Ainge could target a traditional big like Robin Lopez, Dewayne Dedmon, Enes Kanter, or DeAndre Jordan.
Otherwise, it looks like the Celtics will stand pat. With the Lakers reportedly backing out of trade talks with the Pelicans for Anthony Davis (but most likely revisiting it closer to Thursday’s deadline), Ainge will opt to hold onto all his assets with a summer offer in mind. According to Bulpett, a GM interested in oft rumored Terry Rozier was turned away.
In terms of the Celtics’ chances of landing AD in July, The Athletic’s Sam Amick reiterates the chicken-and-egg dichotomy between Irving and Davis: acquiring Davis could be the clincher for Kyrie to re-sign and Kyrie could be the key for Davis softening his stance of being a rental for Boston:
All across the league, the intel on Davis’ true priorities appears consistent: He genuinely wants a chance to win it all, and it’s that belief that is sure to buoy any team that has a path to providing that opportunity. But losing out on Davis could be disastrous, with the prospect of Irving departing then more possible after all these years of collecting assets to build this would-be Super Team in the East.
There’s just under 27 hours left before the trade deadline buzzer goes off so a lot could change. The biggest question is if Anthony Davis is eventually traded to Los Angeles, does that affect Ainge’s attitude toward some of the young players? If he doesn’t have plans to bring back Rozier or even Marcus Morris, could Trader Danny go for a long play and look for deals to help the team next season? Tick tock, tick tock.