The Boston Celtics have a few intriguing options on the table if they're going to use their traded player exception before the NBA trade deadline. The question is, which of those options would be the best fit?
Our own Chris Forsberg recently made the argument that Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes would be the ideal TPE target for Danny Ainge. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, however, has a different name in mind.
Appearing with Forsberg on Thursday's Early Edition, Mannix explained why New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick -- not Barnes -- is the veteran the Celtics should be eyeing with their TPE.
"[Barnes is] fine. He's got playoff experience from his years with Golden State. I'm not as bullish on his impact as Forsberg is. ... I'm still fixated on JJ Redick. You talk about a battle-tested player with playoff experience who can shoot the basketball ..."
While Redick is one of the league's greatest 3-point shooters, he isn't exactly known for his defensive efforts. Mannix doesn't see that being an issue.
"How many guys have rolled through Boston who couldn't defend a lick before they got there and lo and behold the Celtics still have a top-five defense in this league? Was Isaiah Thomas some kind of defensive stopper? Evan Turner played big minutes for Brad Stevens, he wasn't a great defensive player by any stretch," Mannix said. "They find ways to make guys work as team defenders. JJ Redick has been around long enough to be a great team defender."
The Celtics' TPE doesn't expire until the end of November, but Mannix believes it would be a major mistake for Ainge to stand pat at this year's trade deadline.
"What I don't want to see happen is for this team to get the trade deadline and for us to have the same damn conversation about 'well, there really wasn't a lot out there' and that trade exception expires. That is an incredibly valuable trade exception. You don't have to absorb a bad contract to move off one. You have to take advantage of that if you're the Celtics. If that means throwing in a protected first-round pick, I don't care, you do it. Whether it's Harrison Barnes or JJ Redick, you make something happen."
The 2021 NBA trade deadline is scheduled for March 25.