Celtics

Ainge reveals type of player Celtics need to acquire before NBA trade deadline

Celtics

The Boston Celtics need depth, and luckily for them, they have the largest trade exception in NBA history to use before the March 25 trade deadline to add a key piece to their roster ahead of the playoffs.

The C's created this trade exception -- worth about $28.5 million -- as part of the offseason sign-and-trade that sent veteran forward Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. The C's will need to use more than their trade exception to acquire an impact player, but it certainly helps Boston take on players with large salaries.

So, what's the No. 1 need for the Celtics to address before the trade deadline?

"I would say, maybe, shooting with size," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher and Rich" show.

Why shooting with size?

"There are a lot of different ways you can win in this league," Ainge said. "I would say that shooting we could use, we could use passing. But you always need defense, and our team is built on defense. We've been winning with defense over the last few years. I know we haven't won a championship, but we need defense.

"It's hard to just find a shooter who can't guard anybody and expect that person to come in and make a major change on our team. We're looking for complete players, obviously. I think shooting at the big position is something we haven't had."

Who could be a shooter with size? 

 

We've gone over potential acquisitions using the trade exception several times since the season started. One candidate helped the Sacramento Kings defeat the Celtics on Wednesday night, and that's Harrison Barnes.

Forsberg: Why Harrison Barnes is an ideal TPE candidate for C's

Barnes has championship experience from his four seasons playing with the Golden State Warriors at the beginning of his career. He's listed at 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds and has range extending to the 3-point line. The 28-year-old veteran is shooting 41.3 percent on 3-point shots this season. He's also averaging 17.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Barnes knows what it's like to be a No. 3 or No. 4 option on a contending team, so he should be able to make a smooth transition into Boston's rotation if Ainge did acquire him.

Whether it's Barnes or another player, Ainge must acquire someone who can play a meaningful role on this Celtics roster come playoff time. The Celtics' window to win titles is open and the team cannot let this season go to waste, especially with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum both playing at an All-Star level.