NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Players Who Could Help Boston Celtics' Aging Big 3

Zach CampbellCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Players Who Could Help Boston Celtics' Aging Big 3

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    Do you remember when Kevin Garnett was called "The Kid"?

    Yeah, me neither.  Time sure does fly. 

    The 2007-2008 NBA season gave rise to one of the greatest trios in modern sports in the form of the Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen triumvirate in Boston.  The Big Three yielded almost immediate results and propelled Boston back to the top of the NBA elite.  

    Age, however, seems to have finally quelled the three-headed monster in Boston.  

    While it's not quite time to drop the curtain on the Big Three in Boston there is certainly an aching need to surround the veteran superstars with a better supporting cast than what it is currently available to them in Bean-town.

    At 7-9, the Celtics still have shot at the playoffs, but the turn around has to happen now and it will take a good amount of help to engineer that type of run.   

    Here are five players that could help the Big Three get the Celtics back on track for the playoffs in 2012. 

Devin Ebanks

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    Let's face it: the days of Garnett averaging double-doubles night after night are gone.

    At 35, Garnett is just not the rangy, athletic force that he used to be.  On top of that, the Celtics lack an athletic big who can go out beyond the block and create shots away from the basket. 

    Devin Ebanks could be the guy. 

    Two years in, Ebanks has a lot of raw athleticism, and at 6'9" he possesses a pretty versatile skill set. 

    He's somewhat underused by a thinner-than-usual Lakers squad and has only averaged eight minutes over the last 10 games. 

    It also doesn't hurt that Ebanks is only pulling in $760k a year right now in L.A., which is a number that I'm sure the Celtics' front office would not mind taking on. 

    Ebanks could be a steal for Boston and would provide a big, young presence on the floor to take pressure off of Garnett and act as a foil to Boston's bigger, more post-minded reserves like Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass.

Nick Young

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    Oh, Nick Young. 

    As a Wizards fan I have to laugh at throwing his name in the mix.  

    Nick Young is a great example of potential that has yet to develop into true talent.  I think that a large part of the blame should be assigned simply to his being in Washington since he was drafted out of USC in 2007.  

    Young has shown flashes of real ability here and there, but DC has been a flagship member of the basketball doldrums for years now, and I think a change of scenery and a move to a successful franchise would do wonders for Nick Young.

    Boston could be a great next step.

    The Celtics are in serious need of points anyway they can get them.  Averaging less than 90 points per game will leave you a little desperate for a solid addition to your offense.  Young is averaging 16 points this year for the Wizards, but he has the upside that would allow him to score a great deal more.  

    Not only is he a good shooter, he is also very explosive and possesses great leaping ability.  If Young could get integrated into a good scheme, under a real coach (sorry, Flip), Nick Young could potentially be a valued asset to a Celtics team that has trouble putting points on the board.

    Plus, his $3 million contract makes the investment in Young low risk/high reward.   

Shannon Brown

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    I like Shannon Brown.  So does SportsCenter. 

    The former Lakers high-flyer has since landed in Phoenix and is collecting solid minutes, but is not seeing the translation in stats.

    Shannon has shot pretty poorly this season at just under 37 percent from the field and is averaging around nine points per game.  But at 26, Brown has plenty of juice left to burn and has head-turning leaping ability, making him a handful to guard at times. 

    With Suns' coach Alvin Gentry shaking up Phoenix's line up, Brown's value may go up or down.  Either way, the Celtics should try and make a run at Brown as they'd pick up a nice sixth or seventh man who could come off the bench for either Pierce or Allen.

    Brown is still young and, therefore, having a couple decorated veterans like Pierce and Allen to understudy would be a huge boost to his game fundamentally. 

    Brown is yet another guy in the $3 million range and because he doesn't have much in the way of star-power, the Celtics should be able to negotiate a reasonable contract without much of a hit to the salary cap. 

Kurt Thomas

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    I know Kurt Thomas was around when cars still came standard with cassette players, but hear me out.

    Thomas is playing at a fairly high level given his age.  Now a Portland Trail Blazer, Thomas is still seeing considerable minutes averaging 16.8 per game. 

    The great thing about Kurt Thomas, though, is that he can still score.  At 39, he certainly looks a lot better than Shaq Diesel did last year and he is still a big body down low that can mix it up and grab rebounds. 

    You can't put a price on veteran leadership and in this case, it would come cheap.  Thomas may not have much gas left in the tank, but he would provide hard, grinding minutes off the bench that would alleviate Garnett from having to do too much of that work himself.

    In a shortened season with the playoffs on the line, Thomas could come to Boston bringing years of experience and a lot of spark that could help the Celtics boost the effectiveness of their secondary lineups.   

Kris Humphries

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    You laugh.  You all laugh. I know it and it's OK. 

    Here's the thing that everyone failed to notice while the unstoppable hurricane of televised nausea that is the Kardashian family was making Kris Humphries' life one punch line after another:

    He's a good player. 

    Look at his stats if you don't believe me: 13.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game.  That's nothing if not consistent. 

    A player like Humphries could greatly aid a team that is currently 29th in the league in rebounds per game.  Humphries plays at big at 6'9" and creates a lot of points from hard play around the basket. 

    The good news is that he is currently on a one-year deal in New Jersey and something tells me that a change of scenery might just do hims some good. 

    Humphries would play unselfishly and provide energy and hustle around the basket where the Celtics have struggled to gain much dominance so far this year. 

    Sure, there would be a lot of cheap one-liners being coughed up inside the Garden whenever the erst-while Kardashian took the floor, but don't act like you wouldn't be grateful for his play.