2021 NBA Trade Deadline: 4 teams primed to make moves

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4. Boston Celtics

Most teams in the Boston Celtics position wouldn’t be among the teams constantly brought up in hypothetical trade ideas.

To be clear, Boston certainly needs some type of change to salvage what has been a disappointing season that has them just one game above .500 while sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference. But scan the roster and you don’t see many trade chips to work with.

Danny Ainge will rightfully not relinquish any of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker or Marcus Smart. The plethora of recent draft picks who populate the roster haven’t built enough consistency to earn consideration from another team, at least not in a way that would bring anything of substantial value to the Celtics in return.

It’s that infamous trade exception that has put Boston on the buyers market. At $28.5 million, the Celtics own the largest TPE in NBA history, opening the door to a trade that wouldn’t otherwise be present for a team that has handed out several nine-figure deals in recent years.

Ainge has previously mentioned a preference to hold off on using the exception until the offseason, where the scope of potential options will expand. But his patience could wear thin when the weight of expectations becomes too heavy to bear.