BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA trade deadline is exactly one month away. With the Celtics stuck in the mud at 19-21, Brad Stevens is expected to cash in on some pieces on the Boston roster before the trade buzzer sounds.

That will not, however, include franchise cornerstones Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown. For all the talk that the Jays need to be broken up outside of Causeway Street, that is not how the Celtics feel among themselves.

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In a piece mostly about where the Ben Simmons trade talks stand, The Athletic’s Shams Charania threw in a nugget about the Celtics’ approach to this season’s deadline. Boston is willing to wheel and deal, just not for its two star players.

“The 19-21 Celtics have indicated to rival teams that they want to build around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — and have no interest to split up the two All-Star forwards right now, sources said,” wrote Charania, who added that the C’s “appear open for business around other players on the roster.”

The two likeliest trade candidates for Boston are guard Dennis Schroder and veteran big man Al Horford. Schroder was signed to a bargain deal over the offseason, but Boston doesn’t own his Bird Rights and likely won’t be able to afford him this summer. He’s played well for the C’s, although his shot selection and slow pace on offense don’t really fit the Boston system. With Schroder, it’s more of a matter of when he’ll be traded than if.

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Horford still has one more year on his deal, but only $14.5 of his $26.5 million is guaranteed in 2022-23. He has cooled off considerably after a hot start, but will be a valuable piece for matching salary in a deal.

But Monday’s report seems to indicated that anyone whose named that doesn’t begin with “Jay” could be on the move. Whether that means Stevens will try to cash in on Marcus Smart or Robert Williams remains to be seen, but the Feb. 10 trade deadline should be an interesting one for the Celtics.

After years of Danny Ainge “coming close” on moves but ultimately balking, we’ll see if his replacement is a little more aggressive on the trade market.

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CBSBoston.com Staff