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Report: Celtics lead Al Horford sweepstakes if Hawks make him available at deadline 02.17.16 at 4:48 pm ET
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Guard Jeff Teague (0) and center Al Horford (15)  are reportedly on the trading block. (Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports)

Guard Jeff Teague (0) and center Al Horford (15) reportedly are on the trading block. (Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports)

Are the Celtics about to get their big man at the trade deadline?

According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Danny Ainge is the front-runner to land Atlanta center Al Horford if the Hawks make him available before Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

The nine-year veteran is averaging 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while starting all of Atlanta’s 55 games this season. The 31-24 Hawks are just one game behind the third-place Celtics in the Eastern Conference.

This all begs the question why Atlanta would want to deal one the league’s best big men right now? The Hawks are staring down the barrel of the free agency gun with Horford set to hit the open market this summer.

Horford is in the final year of a five-year, $60 million contract and is earning $12 million this season. Blakely reports that the Hawks have not made a decision on whether they will trade Horford but a league source told CSNNE.com that “the Celtics have emerged as one of the favorites to land him.”

But the big caveat is whether the Hawks even decide to part ways with the veteran forward at all. Atlanta would likely demand one of Boston’s three first-round picks.

If Ainge feels the true value is in the lottery pick, and could package the other first-rounders and some other enticements, then the deal might happen.

What would it mean for the short-term? Horford, a four-time All-Star, would easily step in and become Boston’s best post player, as Jared Sullinger, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder has formed the starting front court the last 11 games and 16 of the last 17 games.

Read More: 2016 NBA trade deadline, Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics
Jackie MacMullan on OM&F: ‘Danny [Ainge] is going to make another run at Kevin Love’ 02.17.16 at 2:09 pm ET
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ESPN NBA analyst Jackie MacMullan checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NBA trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

MacMullan feels the Celtics and Danny Ainge will make another run at Kevin Love. She feels Love has gotten a “raw deal” in Cleveland, but ultimately she doesn’t think Love will be dealt because of where the Cavaliers are at in the standings.

“I do believe that Danny is going to make another run at Kevin Love because we know that he’s coveted Love all along,” MacMullan said. “The one thing that I think is interesting about Love, everybody is down on him — well, he stretches the floor, which we know Brad Stevens likes, right? Well, he can’t defend and I don’t know how you guys feel about real plus/minus, I tend to be a fan and I am sure the Celtics have things that are much more sophisticated than what we use at ESPN for real plus/minus, but just for the heck of it, I looked it up this morning on Kevin Love. He’s 12th overall in the league. That is pretty good.

“His defensive numbers right now — his defensive plus/minus is better than his offensive plus/minus. I think Kevin Love gets a raw deal when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers and maybe why they aren’t performing maybe as well as they should. In fact, we know Kyrie Irving is coming off some pretty severe injuries, look at his numbers, they are horrible. His defensive real plus/minus is minus 3.22. The only point guard who plays significantly in the league that is worse are guys like Brandon Knight and actually Derek Rose. I think Kevin Love gets a raw deal.

“I would be thrilled if the Celtics could bring Kevin Love here, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. If I am Cleveland, I’m the best team in the East and we all know every team — Golden State, San Antonio, they are one injury away from being vulnerable, I’m standing pat for the most part.”

To hear the complete interview, check it out below.

Read More: Jackie MacMullan, Kevin Love,
Report: Celtics called Clippers about Blake Griffin 02.16.16 at 11:42 am ET
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Will the Celtics make a huge move at the trade deadline?

According to the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, the Celtics have been one of a number of teams to call the Clippers about Blake Griffin. But, Bulpett adds while the Clippers are listening, they have no real intention of moving him.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge spoke with Bulpett about the team’s goals as Thursday’s deadline approaches. It appears the Celtics are looking at the big picture.

“When I’€™m looking at players out there, I’€™m looking at players that can make a big difference,” Ainge said to Bulpett. “Not players that can win us two games or anything like that. That’€™s not my objective.

“€œOur objective is not to keep us in the No. 3 seed in the East and maybe move up a bit, other than that’€™s our players’€™ objective and that’€™s our coaches’€™ objective. I think those are amazing goals, and it’€™s been fun watching this team compete and beating some of the good teams along the way. But our objective is to put together a team that can compete for championships.

“Listen, we’€™re just a few games from being at seven or eight, and it wasn’€™t too long ago that we were the ninth seed in the East. So, no, I don’€™t pay that much attention to the standings. I look more at how we’€™re playing and where our holes are and what we need to do.”

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

Read More: blake griffin, Danny Ainge,
Celtics reportedly have ‘recoiled’ at Rockets’ asking price for Dwight Howard 02.16.16 at 11:08 am ET
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        Dwight Howard

The Celtics may still be interested in Rockets center Dwight Howard.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Celtics have “recoiled” at paying a price that the Rockets would find acceptable. Lowe notes Howard wants a max deal that would start at $30 million per season, which the Celtics would likely be able to do.

The report adds the Rockets have been making calls on him for two weeks, but there has been no interest thus far.

As for current Celtics players potentially being traded at the deadline, Lowe says to keep an eye on Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller since they are set to become restricted free agents.

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday and it would appear there will be many more rumors between now and then.

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Dwight Howard,
Report: Celtics trying to trade David Lee – and his contract – before trade deadline 02.15.16 at 1:48 pm ET
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The Celtics are reportedly trying to move David Lee (42) before the trade deadline. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

The Celtics are reportedly trying to move David Lee (42) before the trade deadline. (Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports)

While Celtics players continue to get their rest over the All-Star break, their general manager enters his busiest week of the season. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge is not just listening to offers for his three first-round picks this June while building his roster for a deep playoff run, he’s trying to move players.

The biggest challenge this week for Ainge might be what to do with center David Lee. His skills might still be valuable to a team that needs depth in the middle.

And while that would certainly seem to be a perfect fit for the team he’s currently on, the Celtics, like every team that has had him, would like to be free of the contract.

Specifically, Lee’s cap hit is $15,493,680, is easily the highest on the Celtics and the sixth-highest such figure among power forwards in the NBA, behind the likes of Chris Bosh ($22.1 million), LeMarcus Aldridge ($19.6 million), Kevin Love ($19.6 million), Blake Griffin ($18.9 million) and Paul Millsap ($18.6 million).

Lee has started just four of 30 games this season, averaging just 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting a career-low 45.3 percent from the field. He hasn’t played since Jan. 10 at Memphis and has been a DNP for the last 18 games. 

Now 32, Lee is in the final year of a six-year, $79.5 million deal he signed with the Knicks in 2010, using the Bird exception. The Boston Herald reports that Ainge is unlikely to move Lee before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

David Lee was tough for Golden State to move all of last year,” the Herald reported, citing a league source. “And it finally came down to him being moved for Gerald Wallace. David Lee has no value. It’€™s his contract. David Lee‘€™s value comes in if they get one of these big name players.”

The Celtics acquired Lee and his expiring contract last summer from the world champion Golden State Warriors, sending Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb to Golden State. If Ainge can’t move Lee, the forward could accept a buyout from the Celtics by Mar. 1, allowing him to sign with another team in time for the playoffs.

Read More: 2016 NBA trade deadline, Boston Celtics, David Lee, Golden State Warriors
Adrian Wojnarowski ‘can’t imagine a scenario’ where Celtics trade Nets’ first-round pick 02.15.16 at 11:41 am ET
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The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and from a Celtics perspective, one of the biggest questions is whether or not they will trade the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, that likely won’t happen.

“The Brooklyn pick has tremendous value,” Wojnarowski told CSNNE Sunday night. “I can’€™t imagine a scenario where the Celtics trade that. If they do trade that it’€™s got to be for a really elite, star-level player. I don’€™t think that player is out there available for them.

“They don’€™t want to overreach and give away these assets. They’€™re looking for that Kevin Garnett-Ray Allen deal that they did to put the previous champion together. Those deals probably aren’€™t out there for them.”

For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.

Read More: NBA Trade Deadline,
Report: Celtics, Cavaliers discuss Kevin Love trade 02.12.16 at 10:32 pm ET
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Are we really doing this again? We’re doing this again, aren’t we?

Will Kevin Love relocate to Boston to shoulder the load with Kelly Olynyk? (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Will Kevin Love relocate to Boston to shoulder the load with Kelly Olynyk? (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

The Celtics, Cavaliers and Knicks have held “very preliminary discussions” about a trade that would bring Kevin Love to Boston, according to New York Daily News.

The deal would send Carmelo Anthony to Cleveland, with Timofey Mozgov and draft picks going to New York. As with all Love-to-Boston trade rumors, “those talks have not progressed,” the Daily News reported. Surely, he can’t wait to play with Kelly Olynyk.

Keep in mind, “very preliminary discussions” could include Danny Ainge calling Cleveland to inquire about Love, and Cavs GM David Griffin saying, “Yeah, no.” I had a preliminary discussion about dating every good-looking girl in my high school, then.

It sure would be an odd move for the Cavaliers to give up on a 27-year-old Love before giving new coach Tyronn Lue more than a month to work him into an offensive system.

But the inclusion of Anthony, 31, makes for an intriguing return if you’re Cleveland. After all, LeBron James is the de facto GM in Cleveland, and he’s close with the Knicks star. And the Celtics have all the draft picks Phil Jackson could covet in New York.

So, you’re telling me there’s a chance? Well, we’ve seen this story play out before.

If “those talks” never progress, the Daily News suggested the Celtics could be suitors for Anthony, calling Ainge “intrigued” by the nine-time NBA All-Star. Then again, saying Ainge is intrigued by a superstar is like saying Leonardo DiCaprio is intrigued by a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Gee, you think? We’re still six days away from the NBA trade deadline, and we’re just getting started with the rumors, so buckle up.

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