BOSTON (CBS) — With the NBA trade deadline just a few days away, the Celtics have emerged as a frontrunner for one of the most enticing targets available.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Boston is one of three frontrunners for Memphis guard Tyreke Evans.
The 28-year-old Evans is having his best season since his rookie year in 2009-10, averaging 19.5 points, five rebounds and five assists per game for the Grizzlies. He’s shot 46 percent from the floor in his 46 games this season (making 26 starts), but he hasn’t played since Feb. 1 as Memphis looks to find a trade suitor for the soon-to-be free agent.
With Denver and Philadelphia joining Boston in their pursuit of Evans, with the Miami Heat keeping close tabs on the situation, the Celtics have some competition in their quest to add a scorer off the bench. The Grizzlies are reportedly requesting a first-round pick in return for Evans.
Shortly before Wojnarowski’s tweet, Mark Stein of the New York Times reported that Boston is trying to swap guard Marcus Smart for a first-round pick in hopes of using that extra draft capital in a deal for either Evans or Clippers guard Lou Williams.
The Celtics could certainly use a little more scoring punch off their bench, which Evans or Williams (averaging a career-high 23.3 points per game for L.A.) would provide. Boston reportedly agreed to a deal with free agent big man Greg Monroe last week, but are waiting to finalize the deal to maintain flexibility at the deadline.
Danny Ainge is expected to be a busy man at the deadline as he looks to improve his first-place Celtics. Things should get even more interested as Thursday’s 3pm trade deadline gets closer.