The Boston Celtics are involved in quite a few NBA trade rumors, and they should be looking to make a move for Al Horford before the trade deadline.
The Boston Celtics are currently 29-22 and tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now and they have won seven out of their last eight games. The Celtics have also been in the middle of numerous trade rumors; whether is has to do with the heavily targeted DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, or recently, Al Horford.
Horford is 29 and he is averaging 15.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while shooting 34 percent from deep. He is a great two-way center having yet another great season, but why would the Hawks be willing to give him up if they are currently a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs right now?
Well, Horford will be an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer and he is going to be expecting a maximum contract. If Atlanta does not want to offer Horford the max, then the team might want to trade him. The Celtics should be fighting hard to land this two-way star because he would be a terrific fit on the team.
Horford would be able to stretch the floor at the center position and he is a pretty good rim-protector, which is something the Celtics could use. Boston does not have the type of player that can get the team a bucket when they need one other than maybe Isaiah Thomas. But if the team added Horford, then they would have multiple threats at the end of the game. He is also a gifted passer, and Thomas would orchestrate a beautiful pick-and-roll with Horford.
Boston has the type of trade assets that could attract a team like Atlanta, but what would will it really take for Horford to come to Boston?
The Celtics are obviously not trying to give up too much to try and obtain Horford, but Hawks are also not going to let Horford go without obtaining some proven players and assets. Horford and Thabo Sefolosha for Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, James Young and maybe the 2016 first round pick from the Dallas Mavericks would make sense for both sides.
The Hawks could want more than just Bradley, Sullinger, Rozier/Young and a pick, and the Celtics should be up to almost trading anyone except for Jae Crowder. Losing Crowder would be really hard to replace. Yes, Sefolosha can play defense on the wing, but he is not very good on the offensive end if the Celtics ended up getting him in the Horford trade as well (career-low three-point shooting 28.9 percent).
Crowder and the 2016 first round pick from the Brooklyn Nets are the biggest trade assets that the Celtics have, and they should do everything they can to hold on to those assets unless they can get a superstar like DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin or maybe even Kevin Love.
Horford is a star, but he is not a superstar. He will make the Celtics better, but he is not going to be a guy that can take over every game on the offensive end like Griffin or Cousins. Crowder and the 2016 Brooklyn pick should only be given up for superstars, not Horford.
Boston should go after Horford and they should have the assets to obtain him if the Hawks know that they do not want to pay him in the offseason. The Celtics should not give up Crowder or Brooklyn’s 2016 potential lottery pick, but everything else should be on the table.
Horford is a low-maintenance star that can push Boston in a good position to compete in the playoffs, even if the team gives up key players like Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger.
Head coach Brad Stevens would have a field day with Horford at the center position, and Boston should keep trying to make a deal for the talented two-way center before the trade deadline on Feb. 18.