BOSTON (CBS) — It’s officially All-Star weekend, which means trade rumors are about to blow up in every NBA city in North America.
While the rumors are fun, the majority of them don’t turn into anything tangible. Celtics fans who’ve heard every big NBA name bandied about in recent years can certainly attest to that reality.
So, with the Celtics sitting firmly in second place in the Eastern Conference at the break, and with Brad Stevens and Isaiah Thomas mingling with the All-Stars all weekend, Brian Robb joined Zolak & Bertrand on Friday to lay out five realistic trade targets for the Celtics as they make a push for a long postseason run.
Robb said that the big names that you always hear — Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George — likely won’t be moving anywhere at the deadline. So here’s a more realistic list.
1. Andrew Bogut, Dallas
“He’s with the Mavericks right now on a team that’s probably not going to make the playoffs. He’s been able to fit in with a high-powered offense in Golden State. He has an expiring contract, he’s not going to cost you that much, and he’s been one of the better rebounders in the whole NBA this year.”
Likely cost: Late-first round pick, plus a young asset (like Jordan Mickey).
2. Nerlens Noel, Philadelphia
“He’s kind of proven in the last couple of months once he’s been healthy that he’s a force. We saw it in that game Wednesday night with shot-blocking, with rebounding, with athleticism, he can give you a really big boost off the bench there.”
Likely cost: A Terry Rozier-type of player and a late first-round pick.
3. Taj Gibson, Chicago
“He doesn’t necessarily have the size you’re looking for at 6-foot-9, but he just is a reliable veteran that can score a little bit — 11 points a game, seven rebounds a game, good defender, also would be a rental on an expiring contract so he’s not going to cost you much.”
Likely cost: Late first-round pick.
4. Kyle O’Quinn, New York
“Not really a big name, but he rebounds almost as well as anyone in the NBA. He grabs 13 rebounds every 36 minutes he’s on the floor, and he’s also signed through next season for only $4 million for the year. So that’s the kind of guy you can make a move for and still have the necessary cap space to go after the Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, whoever else you want to go after in free agency and help your team next year.
Likely cost: Terry Rozier, lower draft picks.
5. P.J. Tucker, Phoenix
“A 6-foot-6 wing, he’s 31 years old, used to be a standout at Texas way back in the day but kind of fell off the map. He played overseas for a while so that’s why no one’s heard of him. But he’s someone you can play small with. Brad Stevens loves small ball, he likes skilled bigs. Tucker doesn’t have the size but he can rebound very well for someone his size, like Jae Crowder. So you could go with Crowder and Tucker at the 3 and the 4 and get away with it, and have a 3-point shooter there too. So if you want to spread the floor, keep things spread around Isaiah Thomas, [Tucker is] also an expiring contract. … Bottom-of-the-barrel type stuff, but will give you a boost in the short term.”
Likely cost: Second-round pick or protected first-round pick.
Listen to the segment below, which includes why Robb is out on Jahlil Okafor: