BOSTON (CBS) -- With the NBA trade deadline just over a month away, and the Celtics stuck in a malaise at 15-15 on the season, Boston fans are clamoring for Danny Ainge to make an impact move. Unfortunately, that move may not be out there.
While there are dreams of a blockbuster trade for the likes of Orlando big man Nikola Vucevic or Sacramento swingman Harrison Barnes, those acquisitions will likely remain just fantasies in the minds of Boston fans. Vucevic is in the long-term plans for the Magic, and the Kings are flirting with a playoff spot this season. So Celtics fans may have to settle for something a lot less sexy, and a lot less impactful at the deadline.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote that a potential -- and more realistic -- fit for Boston could be veteran forward Thaddeus Young. He's in his 14th NBA season this year, his second year with the Chicago Bulls, and should come at a fairly reasonable price for any team looking to add some veteran leadership to the mix.
And though the Celtics have a bevy of issues to sort out at the moment, adding some veteran leadership should be near the top of Ainge's deadline wish list.
"Adding an older veteran like Thaddeus Young to bolster the frontcourt makes the most sense. He'd cost the Celtics only part of their massive traded player exception, plus less assets than other higher-value targets would," O'Connor wrote on Monday. "Young is a 32-year-old veteran who could serve as a small-ball center and add toughness, playmaking, and size. But he wouldn't make them a Finals team, which is precisely why Ainge and the front office are asking themselves: 'What can we do and what should we do?'"
If Ainge feels confident that the team can figure itself from within -- and that the return of Marcus Smart will cure a lot of the on-court ills that have plagued the team -- then Young would be a fine addition to Boston. But if the issues require a much bigger fix, the Celtics may just wait until the offseason to address those needs with that massive TPE they received from Gordon Hayward's departure to Charlotte.
Barnes would be the ideal acquisition for Boston; a fair-priced forward who can hit shots and would bring a championship pedigree to town. He fits that "size and shooting" mold that Ainge has previously spoken when talking about what he'd like to add to the roster.
But Young is a solid role player, and one whose $13.5 million contract could be worth picking up with part of that TPE if the Celtics brass feels confident that the team can handle most of its current issues on its own.
for more features.