BOSTON – The Celtics do not have an imminent trade on the horizon, but make no mistake about it, they’ll once again try to be active players in trade talks.
Such discussions typically don’t begin to pick up steam until after Dec. 15, which is the earliest teams can trade players signed in the offseason.
Danny Ainge, president of basketball operations for the Celtics, acknowledged that he has had discussions with other teams about potential deals.
Still, conversations at this point mean little, with many centered around determining if certain players are even available.
“There’s a lot of talk that leads nowhere and groundwork that leads to something,” Ainge said in his weekly conversation with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show. “Teams are still trying to feel what their team is, what direction they’re headed, what the mix is, the fit.”
And the Celtics are indeed one of those teams that he described.
They began the season without Kelly Olynyk who was still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He has been able to play in Boston’s past 12 games.
Boston then lost Al Horford for nine games with a concussion. Horford, who signed a four-year, $113 million contract in the offseason, would later miss a 10th game this season due to the birth of his daughter Alia.
Throw in the ankle injury to Jae Crowder, which cost him eight games and limited him in at least a couple more, and it’s clear that the Celtics have no concrete feel for their team just yet.
In terms of strengthening the roster, the Celtics’ greatest need right now appears to be finding an able-bodied rebounder.
One player whose name continues to pop up as a possible target for Boston is DeMarcus Cousins, whose Sacramento Kings will be in town on Friday night.
It’s unclear just how interested the Celtics are in adding the All-Star center and whether Boston has enough of the right kind of assets to entice the Kings into doing a deal.
But Ainge cautions that trade talks aren’t likely to take on a serious tone until the middle of this month.
“[Now] It’s not the time of year where there’s a lot of activity for a lot of different reasons,” Ainge said. “From the middle of December through the middle of February, it’s really heated up and we anticipate our phones will be ringing.”