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Report: Celtics have ‘kicked the tires’ on potential trades for Kris Dunn and Simone Fontecchio

Danny Ainge could strike a deal with his former team

Utah Jazz v Milwaukee Bucks

We’re just one day away from the NBA Trade Deadline. Reporting surrounding a Boston Celtics trade is starting to heat up. On Tuesday, The Globe's Adam Himmelsbach added further fuel to the fire, taking to X to note that it would be a surprise if Brad Stevens decided to stand pat.

It would now appear the Celtics have turned their attention toward the Utah Jazz, which means dealing with former President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge. While the primary target in Utah would likely be Kelly Olynyk, two role players appear to be drawing Stevens’ interest at present.

According to Masslive’s Brian Robb, the Celtics have ‘kicked the tires’ on potential trades for veteran guard Kris Dunn and for 28-year-old forward Simone Fontecchio. Both players have contracts that would fit inside the $6.2 million Grant Williams TPE. However, it’s not known what sort of return Ainge would be looking for in a potential deal.

“The Jazz have two players that could fit the bill on that front as the team has kicked the tires on 6-foot-7 Italian forward Simone Fontecchio and former lottery pick Kris Dunn per league sources,” Robb wrote. “The 28-year-old Fontecchio is shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range this year primarily as a starter and only makes just over $3 million.”

Nevertheless, both players fit the mold of a move that would make sense for the Celtics. Dunn is a reliable playmaker and a solid defender, shooting 43.1% from 3-point range during his tenure with the Jazz. While Fontecchio has been part of Utah’s starting rotation for the majority of the season and is also shooting a reliable 39.1% from the perimeter.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that both Dunn ($2.5 million) and Fontecchio ($3 million) could fit within the TPE. However, they’re both set to hit free agency this summer, with Dunn unrestricted and Fontecchio restricted.

Should the Celtics try to acquire both players, they will need to send some playing talent to the Jazz. Boston only has one open roster spot at present, meaning they would need to create the additional space to absorb a second player.

With the Celtics looking to shore up their bench rotation and provide Joe Mazzulla with some additional rotation options moving forward, both Dunn and Fontecchio make sense as potential additions. I recently took a deep dive into how Dunn would fit with the Celtics for my newsletter and have been encouraged by the potential fit.

Fortunately, we won’t have long to wait before finding out what route Stevens and the front office decide to take. The February 8 trade deadline closes at 3 PM Eastern Time, which is just over 24 hours from the time of writing this article. It’s going to be an interesting day, that’s for sure.

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