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Rumor: Celtics interested in Jerami Grant and Nikola Vucevic

Danny Ainge likely has his eyes on a lot of different players at the deadline.

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As we approach the March 25 NBA trade deadline we’re sure to get plenty of reports, rumors, buzz, and flat out speculation about what the Celtics might be doing on the trade market.

Make your “Trader Danny never makes trades” jokes all you want. I remain convinced that this is the year he pulls the trigger on a medium-to-large sized trade at the deadline. Call me gullible if you like, it just makes way too much sense to make a move with the assets that we have and the needs we have on the team as well as this team’s timetable.

But enough of my intro, I know you are just skipping to the block-quotes below. So here you go.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports:

Among top trade targets for the Celtics: Detroit’s Jerami Grant, sources said. Grant is having a breakout season, averaging 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He is a leader for the Most Improved Player of the Year award.

Not sure if the source here is Scalabrine or what, but I’m sure that Danny Ainge and team would love to add Jerami Grant. He’s having a breakout season and would be a great addition to about any team. He’s also young enough to be a building block for the Pistons, so I’m not exactly sure why they’d move him at this point. Regardless, the asking price would be pretty high and I’m not entirely sure if the Celtics would have the draft capital the Pistons would be looking for to out-bid other suitors.

Moving on, Shams also mentions another popular name around here.

The Celtics and Hornets are among teams interested in Magic two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic, sources said. Rival teams expect that any haul for Vucevic would have to be massive. The 7-foot big man is having his best NBA season, averaging 24.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 41.8 percent from 3-point range. Vucevic has spent nine of his 10 NBA seasons in Orlando.

If Vuc goes on the market you can expect the bidding to be aggressive. Can the Celtics beat out other offers? Do they really need to invest trade assets and a huge portion of their cap for a center when they currently have 3 solid options at the position and lots of needs elsewhere? I guess it depends on their plans and other moves the team could make. Consolidating a couple of centers in this deal and adding depth in other deals would make some level of sense. Just kind of hard to see a deal that makes sense for both sides.

The report also mentions the Celtics are interested in Sacramento big man Nemanja Bjelica. He qualifies as someone with size who can shoot, but he’s not known for playing much defense.

This won’t be the last report of who the Celtics are interested in. In fact, you can insert your own jokes about how after the deadline passes Ainge will talk about “getting close” to a few deals.

For my part, I don’t fault Danny Ainge for kicking the tires on any and every name that might be available and helpful to the Celtics this year and into the future. I’m hoping he’s aggressive this year, but it does take two teams to make a trade. So stay tuned.

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