Four realistic trade targets for Celtics at NBA deadline

The Boston Celtics have until next Thursday at 3 p.m. ET to complete a deal. That’s just over a week away.

With a talented roster that has produced an NBA-best 37-11 record heading into Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston doesn’t need to make many changes. However, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens will undoubtedly want to make any improvement, even if it’s just slight, given that the Celtics are in a great position to win Banner 18.

There isn’t a clear necessity for the Celtics. Maybe extra center depth in case Al Horford ages and Kristaps Porzingis gets hurt? Or perhaps a different guard or wing who could provide the Celtics with a stronger spark off the bench?

Despite acquiring Porzingis and Jrue Holiday in the offseason, Boston has no intention of being involved in any major transactions before the deadline. To make that possible, the Celtics might merely try to make a little move and utilize the $6.2 million trade exception from the Grant Williams deal.

In light of everything, the Celtics have four practical trade possibilities to consider as the deadline draws near.

Naji Marshall, forward for the New Orleans Pelicans
When the Pelicans came to Boston earlier this week, the Celtics had a close-up look at Marshall. Against the Celtics, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward recorded four points, four rebounds, and three assists.

According to Spotrac, the 26-year-old is in the last year of a four-year contract that will pay him $1.9 million this season. The fact that he would be eligible for the Williams trade exception might persuade the Celtics to make the trade.

Marshall scores 7.4 points and pulls down 3.4 rebounds on the floor on average each game. However, Marshall’s 3-point shooting percentage is the most important factor to consider, especially considering the style of basketball Joe Mazzulla like the Celtics to play. This season, the Xavier product improved significantly in that area, shooting 37.2% from beyond the arc, compared to just 30.3% the previous year.

Isaiah Stewart, center for the Detroit Pistons
Stewart’s unending drive and toughness on the field make him seem like a fantastic complement to Boston’s bench. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound center can contribute on the boards by pulling down an average of 6.8 rebounds in addition to his 11 points per game. Additionally, he would provide the Celtics with another big man bench option in addition to Luke Kornet, relieving some of the strain on Horford and Porzingis.

With a 6-40 record and the emergence of 20-year-old Jalen Duren, the Pistons may decide to let go of Stewart in order to clear the way for their reconstruction.

Stewart, who is only 22 years old, signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension this past summer, which is the only obstacle to trying to trade for him. If there had never been that extension, it would have been simpler for the Celtics to get him.

Guard John Konchar of the Memphis Grizzlies
A recurring motif throughout these Celtics trade targets is to attempt to acquire components from the league’s bottom clubs, as they may be more inclined to deal with them.

Konchar is the opposite of a well-known name. He has played with the Grizzlies for the past five seasons, although he hasn’t done much or seen much action. This season, he has averaged 3.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.

The Celtics may think they can get Konchar back to locating his outside shot. Two seasons prior, he had a remarkable percentage of 41.3% from beyond the arc; but, this season, he only made 30.1% of his two 3-point attempts per game. Konchar ranks among the best guards in blocks per game with 0.9, and his 6-foot-5 stature is an added bonus.

Tyus Jones, guard with the Washington Wizards
Jones would likely cost the Celtics more than any other player on this list to acquire, but the risk might be worthwhile. For the lowly Wizards, the 27-year-old is averaging a career-high 12.4 points and 6.3 assists, having the finest season of his nine-year NBA career.

From the bench, Jones might provide the Celtics with an offensive spark that Payton Pritchard hasn’t been able to provide for them. Although he might be a liability defensively, Mazzulla is undoubtedly more concerned with what transpires on the other side of the court.

Jones’s affiliation with Duke should also not be disregarded, given that Boston’s top player attended the same university.

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