Celtics trade rumors have president Danny Ainge "excited" about a possible deal. A lot of Boston Celtics trade rumors have surfaced this season, most notably because the team is back in contention for a great spot in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Now, a report from Fox Sports states that discussions between the Celtics and Atlanta Hawks have taken place. Amid the chatter is a statement that Ainge is "excited" about potentially landing center Al Horford before the NBA trade deadline.
It is no secret that the Atlanta Hawks are strongly considering dealing two All-Star players in order to improve the roster for the long-term. Not only has Al Horford been shopped around the league, but starting point guard Jeff Teague has also been made available. Horford is a free agent during the NBA offseason, with the potential to find a max contract offer from several different teams. Teague is still under contract, but the Hawks have a replacement in Dennis Schroeder ready to become the starting point guard.
Prior Boston Celtics trade rumors linked the team to the Houston Rockets and center Dwight Howard, but the front office in Houston had stated that Howard was untouchable. While that situation might change as the Rockets fall in the Western Conference standings, the situation with the Atlanta Hawks has not changed. On Thursday, February 11, NBA analyst Brian Windhorst was on Mike & Mike, stating that the Hawks are worried about giving Horford around $140 million in his next deal.
Now, a big reason that these Celtics trade rumors work is that the team has a lot of assets it has built up over the past few years. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the team has a group of picks in the 2016 NBA Draft as well as future picks that came over from the Brooklyn Nets. There are also a lot of young players on the current roster that a team like the Hawks might covet. It all simply comes down to whether the Atlanta Hawks are serious about pulling the trigger on a blockbuster deal.
Al Horford has played his entire career with the Hawks, averaging 14.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game over nine seasons. He makes $12 million this season before becoming a 30-year-old free agent. The Hawks hold first place in the Southeast Division with a 31-24 record but have to weigh that playoff standing against the prospect of losing Horford for nothing in the NBA offseason. If the Hawks don't want to offer Horford a max deal in free agency, then a trade is very likely coming in the next two weeks.
It would be very easy for these Boston Celtics trade rumors to turn into a reality, as the team could deal power forward David Lee to the Hawks to match salaries. That wouldn't be the selling point, as the Celtics might also have to include a first-round pick to close the deal, but it would at least create a situation where the roster doesn't get gutted. Adding Horford while only subtracting Lee could also make the team much stronger as the 2016 NBA Playoffs approach.
At 35-23 on the season, the Celtics have a great chance to make a lot of noise in the postseason. The team would play the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs if the season ended today, with the chance of playing the Toronto Raptors in the second round for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. Danny Ainge has been on the phones seeking out a move to give the Celtics momentum and it seems possible that a deal with the Hawks could be coming. Until the NBA trade deadline hits, though, fans should expect even more Boston Celtics rumors to surface.
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