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Charania: Celtics eyeing Spurs’ Aldridge, Hawks’ Collins

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With ten days left before the NBA trade deadline, we’re starting to see if there’s any fire to this smoke.

Atlanta Hawks v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

There are ten days left until the NBA trade deadline. Buyers and sellers are starting to separate as the playoff picture comes into view with the second half of the season underway. And with every passing day, the Celtics continue to be linked to several players around the league.

To some extent, there are the usual suspects. The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting that Boston is still in the hunt for Atlanta’s John Collins:

Another player of interest for the Celtics: Hawks big man John Collins, sources said. Atlanta’s asking price has been steep for Collins, however: A high-level first-round draft pick and/or a talented young player.

As our Sam Amick reported last week, Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes appears to be a more logical and likely target for the Celtics.

Collins is in the final year of his rookie contract (he was the 19th pick in 2017 when Jayson Tatum went third to the Celtics) and reportedly rejected a $90 million extension to stay with the Hawks. He’s been rumored to be part of the angst in Atlanta that lead to Lloyd Pierce’s firing before the All-Star break, but remains productive on the floor. The 23-year-old is averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

Charania is also reporting that the Celtics could be interested in San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge if the Spurs can’t trade him to another team and buys him out. The Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers are also in the market for the seven-time All-Star. The 35-year-old veteran was averaging just 25.9 minutes per game, the lowest in his career, and has yet to return from a wrist injury. He’s averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds on the season.