BOSTON (CBS) — Brad Stevens could turn to an old friend to help bolster the Celtics’ depth ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Boston is reportedly interested in acquiring Jeff Green from the Denver Nuggets.
That comes via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who discussed a number of trade rumors on the HoopsHype Podcast on Wednesday. In addition to Green, Scotto said the Celtics also have eyes on Suns big man Jalen Smith, whom they’ve expressed interest in acquiring over recent weeks.READ MORE: Pastrnak's Power-Play Goal Lifts Bruins Over Jets 3-2
Smith would make a lot more sense for Boston, given that he’s a 21-year-old former 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 thus far, but he has seen a huge increase in playing time due to a rash of injuries on the Suns.
The Suns declined Smith’s rookie option before the season, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. But the C’s or whoever trades for him would own his Bird Rights, and would only have to offer him a max of $4.7 million in the offseason. That could be the most intriguing part of the young big.READ MORE: Las Vegas Raiders Reportedly Preparing To 'Make A Run' At Josh McDaniels
As for Green, while a return to Boston for the longtime journeyman would be a nice story, his fit wouldn’t make a lot of sense outside of a veteran presence for the locker room. The 35-year-old has played a lot of power forward and center for the Nuggets this season, starting 24 of his 36 games and averaging 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest. He’s shooting just 31 percent from three, which wouldn’t jive well in the Boston system.
But Green does have a relationship with Ime Udoka after the two spent last season with the Brooklyn Nets, and he would give Boston a versatile defender. He has a player option for $4.5 million for next season.
Neither Green nor Smith would be a major splash that moves the needle for the Celtics, but they are moves the team could make to help with depth for the present and, in Smith’s case, potentially the future. They could also plug some holes should Stevens cash in on other assets ahead of the deadline.MORE NEWS: Trail Blazers Rally Past Celtics 109-105
As for what those other assets may be, Scotto also said that the Celtics are open to moving backup point guard Dennis Schroder, who is their best trade chip this season. In addition to Schroder though, Scotto also says that he’s heard that Boston is also making second-year swingman Aaron Nesmith available, as he’s struggled to crack Udoka’s rotation this season.