Report: 'Extremely active' Celtics eyeing these types of deals originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Apparently Brad Stevens' phone is still "ringing off the hook" as the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline approaches.
The Boston Celtics have been "extremely active" in trade discussions ahead of the deadline, Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com reported Monday. While the Celtics appear committed to keeping Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Stevens and Co. are looking to "reconfigure the pieces" around their two young stars by perhaps dealing some of their recently-acquired veterans, Bulpett reports.
"They've definitely been looking to get something done," one "rival GM" told Bulpett of the C's.
Stevens made his first in-season move as president of basketball operations last week by unloading Juancho Hernangomez and acquiring Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier in a trade that freed up cap space for Boston. Bulpett noted the Celtics are exploring similar moves that also could allow their younger players to see more action.
Stevens is "at the very least looking to unload some salary cap burden (as he did in moving Juancho Hernangomez last week) and clear a path for Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford to get more playing time," Bulpett reported.
Pritchard, Nesmith and Langford all are averaging well under 20 minutes per game and have produced mixed results when on the court. But more consistent playing time could help elevate their game: Pritchard showed promise with increased minutes as a rookie last season, while Langford has scored double digits in two of his last three games.
Even if all three shine in bigger roles, the C's probably aren't a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. But if the Celtics can get decent asset(s) in return for a veteran like Dennis Schroder, Josh Richardson or Al Horford, it could better position them to make a big move next offseason while giving Stevens and head coach Ime Udoka a larger sample size to see if "the kids" should be part of the Celtics' long-term plans or not.
So, while a blockbuster deal before Feb. 10 seems unlikely, a minor shakeup still could help this 24-24 team play more inspired basketball down the stretch.
"(Celtics ownership has) big expectations, and they really want the Brown-Tatum tandem to be special," a league executive told Bulpett.