Boston Celtics: Pass or pursue on these 5 NBA trade deadline rumors

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The Boston Celtics have lofty expectations for this season, built largely on the shoulders of their two young wings. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are both having All-Star seasons, and in the modern NBA, a two-way star wing is the most valuable commodity a team can have. The Celtics have two. . . At the same time, the Eastern Conference is having a down year, with teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat getting off to slow starts. In this environment, the Celtics should have been set to thrive. Instead, they have floundered their way to a 19-17 record, a 38-win pace in the truncated 72-game season. . Preseason predictions for this team were significantly higher, ranging anywhere from 40 to 48 wins. That was in line for a team expected to compete for the Eastern Conference title. Yet a combination of injuries, COVID-19 absences and regression from role players has left the Celtics wondering what the next step is. With the NBA trade deadline set for March 25, the opportunity to improve their fortunes is fast approaching. . Not a time for hesitancy the Boston Celtics need to be bold at the NBA trade deadline. The Celtics of the last half-decade have been well-known for two things. amassing a treasure chest of assets by winning trades, and then holding those assets rather than shoving them in for a superstar. . . That has mostly worked out for the team, to be sure. By standing pat they used high-level picks to select both Brown and Tatum, and then did wade into the trade waters to flip a more middling lottery pick for Kyrie Irving. While Irvings time in Boston was not ideal, it was a swing for the fences. . . The Celtics need to swing again. This offseason they had the opportunity to help their team and chose to hold, letting a strike whizz by. When forward Gordon Hayward made clear his intention to sign elsewhere, the Celtics reportedly had an offer on the table from the Indiana Pacers. Hayward in a sign-and-trade for shot-blocking center Myles Turner and sharpshooting wing Doug McDermott. . Danny Ainge and the Celtics elected to pass, instead trading Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets and receiving a large trade exception in return. That trade exception is a future possibility, but it offers a paucity of present help. Two of the Celtics biggest needs thus far have been rim protection and bench shooting there is no question they would have a better record with Turner and McDermott on the roster right now. . . The past is gone, however, and the Celtics need to look toward the future. While the return of the injured Marcus Smart should help, they need to make another move. The trade exception is for $28. 5 million, the largest in NBA history. Can their combination of the trade exception, their own picks moving forward and a collection of intriguing but not eye-popping young role players entice other teams?. . The answer is most likely yes, depending on how many of those chips the Celtics are willing to push into the middle of the table. From the Celtics side, which players available should they make a move on? We will look at five players rumored to have interest from the Celtics, and whether Boston should pass or pursue them by the trade deadline.

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