Is it time for the Boston Celtics to make a deal?
With the Cleveland Cavaliers still struggling and Kevin Love slated to miss the next two months with a broken hand, the Celtics are the clear favorites in the Eastern Conference. But can they compete with the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets in a seven-game series as currently constructed, or do they need to add a piece before the Feb.8 NBA trade deadline?
ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks broke down the C’s trade deadline options in an article Wednesday, noting that he believes Boston is unlikely to use its $8.4 million disabled player exception it got due to Gordon Hayward’s injury.
Marks lists a group of 11 players, including Tyreke Evans, Lou Williams and Marco Belinelli, who could be targeted with the exception. Marks believes the only player the Celtics should entertain trading for would be Williams, as he could help alleviate Boston’s scoring woes when Kyrie Irving is off the floor.
Another player that Marks believes should be on the C’s radar at the deadline is Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez. The 29-year-old center would not be eligible for the exception as he’s under contract through the 2018-19 season.
Marks believes the Bulls would want Marcus Smart or Boston’s first-round pick for the veteran big man, which likely would be a turnoff for the C’s.
The only other option for the Celtics would be to sign a player who receives a buyout after the deadline. Phoenix Suns center Greg Monroe is expected to receive a buyout before March 1, and Marks believes he’s a player Boston could have interest in as it gears up for a Finals run.
Monroe and Williams are the two targets that make the most sense for Boston. Both veteran players would give the C’s a boost in an area they struggle in and wouldn’t require the Celtics to give up a lot in return.
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