BOSTON (CBS) — If Wednesday morning is any indication, Eastern Conference contenders are going to be an active bunch ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
The Boston Celtics, however, are not expected to join in on the deadline day fun. According to The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett, other teams around the NBA that have spoken with the Boston brass aren’t expecting the Celtics to do much of anything ahead of the deadline. Danny Ainge and company may make a fringe move to address their depth, but that will likely come after the deadline on the buyout market:READ MORE: Service Resumes On Green Line Hours After Crash, Operator On Leave
For now, from all accounts by opposing clubs, the Celtics seem to be most willing to ride this season out, believing that their recent success is a sign they’re still improving and closing in on being able to ably compete for a trip to The Finals this season and take their chances there.
One GM was shot down when he called inquiring about backup point guard Terry Rozier, according to Bulpett. The expectation is the Celtics will not move the impending restricted free-agent ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.READ MORE: North End Fitness Center Joins List Of Businesses Requiring Staff, Customers To Be Vaccinated
The Celtics have turned a corner as of late, winners of nine of their last 10 games, and now sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. It appears that Ainge will explore adding depth at some point but is willing to see what this current team can do come playoff time. If there’s a minor move to be made that will improve their odds, he’ll pull the trigger. But he’s not going to make any moves on Thursday that will hurt Boston’s chances at an Anthony Davis blockbuster trade during the off-season (assuming Davis doesn’t get moved ahead of Thursday’s deadline).
Meanwhile, other teams in the Eastern Conference are making win-now moves. The Celtics are currently a game ahead of the 76ers in the standings, but Philadelphia got better early Wednesday morning by acquiring Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers in a six-player deal. Harris is having a career season, hitting 50 percent of his shots from the floor and 43 percent of his attempts from downtown, and gives Philadelphia an impressive starting five alongside Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid. That could create some matchup problems for the Celtics when they face the 76ers, though Philly still doesn’t have anyone who can really defend Kyrie Irving. Still, with the hot-handed Harris now in the mix, Philadelphia is a lot better Wednesday than they were on Tuesday.
Also on Wednesday, the first-place Milwaukee Bucks also got a little better, swapping Thon Maker for Stanley Johnson. While the trade doesn’t move the needle like Philly’s acquisition of Harris, Johnson was in need of a change of scenery and should benefit playing in Milwaukee’s offense.MORE NEWS: Newbury Street To Have 3 Car-Free Days In August
While their competition is making moves to improve in the present, the Celtics are banking on their collection of talent to live up to the pre-season hype as they approach the stretch run and the playoffs. That should lead to a rather quiet deadline day for Ainge and company. But with Ainge at the helm, that could always change in a hurry.