Celtics trade rumors predict Danny Ainge could be ready to make moves before the NBA trade deadline. These Boston Celtics rumors include a report from ESPN that states Ainge has been “quietly aggressive” on the trade market. So what does it all mean? It could mean that the Celtics team president is ready to make a big splash before the deadline. It could also simply mean that Ainge is weighing his options to see if the Celtics can swoop in and pick up a player for very little in return.
Among the most intriguing Boston Celtics trade rumors is that Ainge has checked in with the Atlanta Hawks about point guard Jeff Teague and center Al Horford. Teague is now available because the Hawks are ready to make rookie Dennis Schroeder the starting point guard. As for Horford, he is in the final year of his contract with the Hawks, with all signs pointing to him seeking free agency during the NBA offseason. This gives the Hawks added incentive to make a deal in the short-term rather than hold on to Teague for too long or lose Horford for nothing in return.
Other Boston Celtics trade rumors have included DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ainge would like to acquire either All-Star power forward, but the market hasn’t officially developed for either player. Ainge is keeping tabs on the situation in Sacramento, but despite still losing games consistently, the Kings haven’t made a distinct move to shop Cousins. With the Cavs, a coaching change may have removed Love from the trade market, but it could be revisited if the Cavs struggle before the NBA trade deadline.
The Celtics currently have just under $78 million in salaries for the 2015-16 NBA season, but fall way under the salary cap next season with just under $28 million on the books. That number for this season is over the $70 million NBA salary cap, but below the luxury tax level of $84.74 million. This means that any trade the Celtics make with another team over the cap would have to involve matching salaries from each side. The team would also not want to take on more than $6 million in additional salaries, because Ainge would be forced to pay the luxury tax.
In the latest NBA standings, the Boston Celtics boast a 27-21 record and the fifth best record in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are also just half a game behind the Chicago Bulls (26-19) for the third seed in the East. That’s quite a step forward for the Celtics, making it easy to predict that the team isn’t going to give up key components this year. All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas has been one of the big bright spots for the franchise, but there are a lot of other young role players putting up great numbers.
Prior Celtics trade rumors suggested that the most likely candidate to get dealt by the NBA deadline is former All-Star David Lee. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Lee may have already demanded a trade from the front office due to his reduced minutes. Teams interested in Lee could include the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks. Any deal involving Lee likely wouldn’t net the Celtics very much though.
Danny Ainge has some difficult decisions to make as the NBA trade deadline approaches. He has to weigh the prospect of making a trade to get the team further in the 2016 NBA Playoffs against saving the salary cap space to pursue a big name free agent in the offseason. While there is extensive chatter that he could make a move for a player like Rudy Gay, Ainge is likely trying very hard to keep the Boston Celtics’ youth movement progressing.
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