BOSTON (CBS) – Brad Stevens could turn to an old friend to help cement the Celtics’ depth squad ahead of the NBA’s trading deadline. Boston is said to be interested in acquiring Jeff Green from the Denver Nuggets.
This comes via Michael Scott of HoopsHype, who discussed a number of trade rumors on the HoopsHype Podcast on Wednesday. In addition to Green, Scotto said the Celtics are also keeping an eye on Suns big man Jalen Smith, who have expressed interest in acquiring him over recent weeks.
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Smith would make more sense for Boston, given he was 21 years old than the previous lottery pick, averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds over his 19 games this season. That includes a 19-point showing against the Celtics last month. The 10th overall pick in 2020 has been a bit disappointing so far, but has seen a significant increase in playing time due to a string of injuries at The Sun.
The Suns turned down Smith’s pre-season rookie option, so he would be an unrestricted free agent. But C’s or whoever trades for him would own the rights to his birds, and would only have to offer him a maximum of $4.7 million in the off-season. This might be the most interesting part of the big guys.
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For Green, while returning to Boston for the tall driver would be a nice story, his fit would make no sense beyond the veteran’s locker room presence. The 35-year-old has played a lot of power forward and positioning on the Nuggets this season, starting 24 out of 36 games and averaging 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per competition. It shoots only 31 percent of three, which wouldn’t mesh well in the Boston system.
But Green has a relationship with Ime Udoka after the two spent last season with the Brooklyn Nets, and would give Boston a versatile defender. He has a player option for $4.5 million for next season.
Neither Green nor Smith will be a big splash moving the needle for the Celtics, but they are moves the team can make to help deep into the present and, in Smith’s case, likely the future. They could also fill in some loopholes in the event Stevens cashes other assets before the deadline.
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As for what those other assets might be, Scotto also said the Celtics are open to moving reserve point guard Dennis Schroeder, who is their best trading chip this season. In addition to Schroeder, Scotto also says he’s heard that Boston also provide replacement Aaron Nesmith for the second year, as he has struggled to break Odoka’s rotation this season.