NBA trade rumors are suggesting that the Boston Celtics have a strong interest in acquiring Jeff Teague and Al Horford from the Atlanta Hawks. According to Hoops Rumors, the Celtics have already contacted the Hawks to see what it would require to make the trade happen. Celtics president Danny Ainge is adamant about acquiring star players this season, so a move can happen pretty soon.
Atlanta Hawks president Mike Budenholzer isn’t quite certain that his roster has what it takes to overcome the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, so he is entertaining the idea of trading Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver and Al Horford, three of his best players. NBA executives are always looking for established talent, so Budenholzer knew that his phone would be ringing off the hook once word got out about his desires.
The Boston Celtics have a plethora of selections in the upcoming NBA Draft, probably more than Danny Ainge would actually use if he were going to select players. The numbers are just about right if you’re an executive looking to make a big splash before the trade deadline because everyone loves draft choices. If Mike Budenholzer wants to rebuild or reload, then those draft picks are going to help him accelerate that process.
Another asset that the Boston Celtics currently possesses is the expiring $15.5 million contract of David Lee, who has reportedly demanded that the team move him so that he can find a spot in the rotation somewhere in the NBA. There are reports that the Celtics might release Lee outright, but if they can find a team like that Atlanta Hawks that can absorb his contract by trading Jeff Teague and Al Horford, then that’s an option.
Acquiring Al Horford gives the Boston Celtics the star big man that Danny Ainge has been searching for. The former Florida Gators star has proven that he is adept at finding a way to fit within an offensive scheme, as evident by how well he’s picked up the scheme that Mike Budenholzer brought along with him from his days as an assistant coach to Greg Poppovich on the San Antonio Spurs staff.
Another thing that Al Horford brings to the table is versatility. While his natural position is at forward, he has shown an ability to thrive at the center spot. Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens can opt to keep Horford at the center position and pair him up with Amir Johnson. That, or he can utilize the 6’9″, 260 pound Jared Sullinger against centers, while Horford gets to finally play at his preferred forward position.
As far as Jeff Teague is concerned, he doesn’t seem like a great fit with the Boston Celtics because Marcus Smart, who is recovering from an injury, and Isaiah Thomas, an NBA All Star this year, are both on the roster. However, that won’t deter Danny Ainge because he’s a big fan of stacking up assets. With Smart, Thomas and Teague on board, Ainge can then see which one of those guys can net him the best offer from other teams.
Without a true NBA superstar on the roster, the Boston Celtics have somehow managed to hold the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Since Danny Ainge stayed true to the long term plan he came up with, the team looks to be able to turn things around a lot quicker than many expected them to. If Ainge can pull off the Jeff Teague and Al Horford coup, then the Celtics might be able to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers soon.
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