Celtics

NBA trade rumors: Tristan Thompson is available, but should Celtics pursue him?

NBA trade rumors: Tristan Thompson is available, but should Celtics pursue him?

NBA contenders in need of a frontcourt upgrade should pick up the phone and call the Cleveland Cavaliers ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported Monday, citing league sources, that Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson "is available on the market."

The Cavaliers are a rebuilding franchise with no hope of reaching the playoffs in the Eastern Conference this season. They enter Monday night's games tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the second-worst record in the entire league.

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Thompson will be an unrestricted free agent in July, and the Cavs would be smart to trade the 28-year-old veteran and not risk losing him for nothing. Haynes, citing sources, described the Cavs' approach as “asset accumulation mode," which definitely is the right mentality for Cleveland.

Making a trade for Thompson does pose some challenges, though. He doesn't shoot 3-pointers, so a contender like the Philadelphia 76ers that needs to upgrade its outside shooting shouldn't pursue him. Thompson also has a $18,539,130 salary cap hit, per Spotrac, so teams with limited cap space might have to get creative if they're interested in acquiring him.

What is to like about Thompson? He is a tremendous rebounder and reliably scores double-digits on a nightly basis. He's averaging 11.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.8 percent from the floor. Thompson also has plenty of playoff experience, including four NBA Finals appearances from when LeBron James was leading the Cavaliers.

Should the Boston Celtics pursue him?

The Celtics certainly could use another center, especially a quality rebounder like Thompson. Veteran center Enes Kanter has filled his role tremendously well, but he's missed several games of late with a right hip contusion. It's also worth noting that second-year center Robert Williams has missed most of the season due to injury. Adding frontcourt depth to protect against injuries come playoff time would be a wise trade-deadline strategy for Boston.

The problem for the Celtics is Thompson makes a lot of money, and the C's don't have many salaries in the $10 million to $20 million range. Thompson also is a buyout candidate if the Cavs are unable to trade him, and it would be ideal for the C's to acquire him that way instead of giving up assets in a trade. The Celtics would be smart to have interest in Thompson, but only on the buyout market.

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Celtics-Pacers simulation: Can Kemba Walker, C's keep up their hot streak?

Celtics-Pacers simulation: Can Kemba Walker, C's keep up their hot streak?

The NBA season has been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning we have to wait a while to watch the Boston Celtics again.

As a way to make up for the loss of Celtics action, we'll be using the NBA 2K20 video game to simulate each game on the schedule until they finally return.

PREVIOUS FIVE SIMULATIONS

The Celtics were supposed to take on the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. Here's how our simulation of that game went:

CELTICS STATS

Kemba Walker (28 points) and Gordon Hayward (19 points) carried the load offensively in what ended up being one of the lowest-scoring games for the Celtics in their past few simulations, which just goes to show how on fire they've been. They shined on the defensive end, tallying eight total steals and eight blocks.

With the game pretty much in hand, the C's second unit played for the entire fourth quarter. Rookie Romeo Langford was solid in his 12 minutes, contributing nine points, a steal, and an assist.

PACERS STATS

This was a disastrous offensive performance by the Pacers as they were unable to get any semblance of momentum throughout the contest. Malcolm Brogdon struggled from the field but was able to get nine of his 17 points from the free-throw line. Domontas Sabonis was the only real bright spot as he shot 7-for-10 from the field for 16 points while bringing down nine rebounds.

TEAM STATS

All you need to do is look at the field goal percentages and 3-point percentages (ZERO for Indiana!) to figure out what happened here. Boston dominated in pretty much every other major category too, despite possessing the ball for nine minutes less than the Pacers.

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 101, Pacers 77

Four games remain in the NBA 2K Celtics' regular-season schedule as they ride a 12-game win streak into their matchup vs. the Orlando Magic. Can they extend the streak to 13? Check back Friday to find out.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Mike Gorman debates the best trades in C's history

Celtics Talk Podcast: Mike Gorman debates the best trades in C's history

With no Boston Celtics basketball on the docket for a while due to the coronavirus pandemic, there's no better time to reminisce on some of the greatest moves in the team's history.

NBC Sports Boston's longtime Celtics play-by-play voice Mike Gorman joined the latest Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss the best trades the organization has made. Of course, the ones for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen that formed the "Big Three" immediately come to mind. But to Gorman, the best deal in franchise history is a no-brainer.

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Gorman's No. 1 Celtics trade ever is the one that brought the great Bill Russell to Boston.

When Red [Auerbach] got Russell -- I mean, when you pull off a trade where you get three Hall of Famers in the first round of the draft, 'cause K.C. Jones was on the tail end of that and nobody talks about him. Tommy [Heinsohn] was the rookie of the year. And you get Bill Russell, who goes on to win 11 championships and is MVP five times.

That's got to be the best trade ever for Ed Macauley who was a good player but certainly not a great player. And Cliff Hagan who was a good player but not a great player. Neither one of those guys was going to do anything anywhere near what Bill Russell did to the Celtics. I think the Russell trade has to be the best trade maybe in the history of sports.

The runner-up? That would be the deal 40 years ago that landed Hall of Famers Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.

Again, it was a situation where Red traded and ended up with two Hall of Famers and gave up Joe Barry Carroll whose whole career was a massive disappointment. You would have thought that no one would deal with Red again [after the Russell trade] ... But yeah, to get Kevin McHale and Robert Parish in a draft, and both of them end up going to the Hall of Fame, and you gave up a guy again who had a marginal career ... 

Gorman also discussed what he's been up to in quarantine, as well as what the Celtics' ceiling is if/when the season resumes.

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