BOSTON (CBS) — The countdown is on to 4 p.m. on February 18 — the NBA trade deadline.

The Boston Celtics figure to be a busy bunch leading up to the deadline, whether they make a deal or not. Danny Ainge has plenty of assets — from young talent to a seemingly endless supply of draft picks — to turn into “Trader Danny” and make a move, but he said recently that he won’t “force anything” and make a move just to make a move.

One thing is certain: The Celtics are going to be mentioned in just about every rumor leading up to the deadline. Everyone is thirsty for the team to make a franchise-altering move, so we’ll play along and take a look at a handful of players that may (but likely won’t) end up on the Celtics’ roster:

 

Al Horford

Al Horford. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Al Horford. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Career stats: 14.3 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game
Contract status: Free agent at end of season

The Hawks are ready to blow it up, and with Horford heading to free agency after this season, it looks like a sure thing that he’ll be moved at the deadline. And according to Yahoo!’s Chris Mannix, there’s a “legitimate possibility” the Celtics could swing a deal for the big man.

Depending on the price for the three-time All-Star, renting a player like Horford may be worth the risk for Boston. He’s the low post presence they currently lack, and a few months in Brad Stevens’ system (plus the fact they’d own his Bird rights) could be enough to convince him to sign with the C’s in the offseason. Horford alone wouldn’t put the Celtics over the top this season or next, but he’d be a good piece to add to this year’s team, and potentially build around (along with the other young players) in the future.

Horford, who will turn 30 this summer, is averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this year.

 

Dwight Howard

 Dwight Howard. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Dwight Howard. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 18 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game
Contract status: $23.2 million player option for 2016-17 season

Rumors were flying about trade discussions between the Celtics and Rockets last week, but we learned these were just exploratory talks between the two teams.

The Rockets reportedly want a big haul for the eight-time All-Star, who can (and likely will) opt out of his contract after this season. Howard would give Boston the rim-protector they need, but his attitude issues and injury history are major concerns for what could turn into a pricey rental player.

DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

DeMarcus Cousins. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 19.8 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game
Contract status: Signed through 2017-18 season

Cousins has all the talent, but there are some major question marks regarding his attitude and how he could affect the Celtics’ locker room. He could be that superstar they need, or he could tear apart all the good things Boston has built over the last year.

Sacramento is likely parting ways with head coach George Karl soon, and if they look to start from scratch again, Cousins will get them the biggest return. It would take a lot, but Ainge has the assets to pull off such a trade if he’s looking to go all-in this deadline.

Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Danilo Gallinari. (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

 Career stats: 14.7 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game
Contract status: Signed through 2017-18 (player option for $16.1 million in 2017/18)

A career 42 percent shooter from the floor, the 6-foot-10 Gallinari would be a perfect fit for the Celtics. But he’s a player the Nuggets reportedly want to build around, and they’ve already turned down offers from Boston according to Chris Mannix.

It will take a lot to get Gallinari, but he’s a player Danny Ainge would go all-in for — if not at the deadline than over the offseason.

Jared Dudley

Jared Dudley (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jared Dudley (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 8.5 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game
Contract status: Free agent at end of season

If the Celtics are looking for a slight upgrade at the small forward position off the bench for the rest of the season, Dudley will likely be available for cheap.

Taj Gibson

Taj Gibson (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Taj Gibson (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 9.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game
Contract status: Signed through 2016-17 at $8.9 million

It’s very unlikely the Bulls will make a trade with a team they’re currently chasing in the standings, but they may be willing to deal Gibson if it means more playing time for rookie Bobby Portis. Gibson is a solid rim-protector and rebounder that could help the C’s in the paint.

Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 10.2 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game
Contract status: Free agent at end of season

Like Gibson, it’s unlikely the Heat will want to deal one of their players to a team they’re trailing in the standings. But Whiteside will be a free agent at the end of the season, and Miami may want to get something in return rather than risk losing him without any compensation.

Whiteside leads the NBA with 3.9 blocks per game this season.

Brook Lopez

Center Brook Lopez. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Center Brook Lopez. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 18.1 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game
Contract status: Signed through 2017-18 season ($21.1 million for 2016-17; $22.6 million for 2017-18)

The Nets are a mess, and Lopez is set to make a lot of money over the next two seasons. They nearly traded him at last year’s deadline but a swap with the Oklahoma City Thunder fell through.

It will take a king’s ransom to get the center from Brooklyn and there are injury concerns for the 27-year-old, but if the Celtics are serious about getting a big man he’s one of the best options.

Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 14.3 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, 3.1 assists per game
Contract status: Signed through 2016-17 season; $16.7 million player option for 2017-18

This one would be tricky, and would be more likely to go down after the season and closer to the NBA Draft. But the match is obvious, given Hayward and Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens went to the NCAA title game with Butler in 2009-10.

Hayward is having a career-year in terms of scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game, and would be a great fit in Stevens’ system. He’s got some time left on his deal, including a player option for 2017-18, and given his strong play this season it will likely take a lot to get the Jazz to part ways with one of their best players.

Ryan Anderson

New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 12.9 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game
Contract status: Free agent at end of season

The Celtics are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league this season and could use a little help beyond the arc. Enter the Pelicans’ forward, who is knocking down 39 percent of his shots from downtown.

The Pelicans will not be making the postseason so they’ll be looking to get some return for their upcoming free agents. If Ainge is looking for a stretch-four to help at the deadline, Anderson would be a nice piece to add to the Celtics.

Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Tobias Harris. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

Career stats: 12.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game
Contract status: Signed through 2018-19 season

Here’s another one that would take a pretty big bounty to get, but the Magic are reportedly listening to offers on their 23-year-old forward.

Harris and the Magic agreed on a four-year, $64 million deal over the summer, and while Orlando isn’t shopping Harris they’re listening to offers, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Harris is averaging 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, with his scoring numbers taking a little slide after a career year in 2014. But he won’t turn 24 until the summer and is under control for the next three years at reasonable money.