This time of year is always crazy for the Boston Celtics. The team is set up perfectly to make trades at the deadline with their stocked draft picks and assets, so they end up getting thrown into every rumor that surfaces. This year has been no different as many believe Boston is hoping to make a marquee move before the trade deadline approaches. However, head coach Brad Stevens is making it clear he never follows up on those reports.
The Celtics have been mixed in with a lot of trade talk. Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Al Horford and Roy Hibbert have all been mentioned as targets the Celtics have explored. It is no secret that general manager Danny Ainge would love to get his hands on a marquee player to work with, so the Celtics are mentioned as an option in every deal. Most recently, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports said the Celtics were checking the price tag on Howard with the Houston Rockets. Stevens simply laughs off the idea.
"The guys that have been in the league longer probably feel a lot like I do. It's like, we're just all like listening and laughing and trying to figure out what's real and what's not, but not putting a lot of a stock into it until somebody knocks on our door," Stevens said, via ESPN.com. "And that's the way I feel about it. I probably followed up on every third rumor my first year. And I don't think I've followed up on one yet. If [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] wants to talk to me about something, he knows where to find me."
The Celtics have a lot of tradable assets on the roster. According to the Boston Herald, they are willing to offer up anyone outside of Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas. Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger have all be the center pieces of trade talk. The Celtics are once again dangling as playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. One big move would push them over the edge, but Stevens says it is all unlikely at this point.
One move the Celtics could be making soon is letting go of David Lee who has not worked out for the team. According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, if the Celtics cannot trade Lee then they will buy out his contract before the deadline. Lee has dropped off the map with the Celtics and has admitted he is unhappy with the team. His $15 million deal makes him hard to trade. He is only owed $5 million after the deadline which is why the Celtics plan on letting him go and relying on depth.