The Boston Celtics are barely in the playoff race, and a lot of it has to do with their lack of production from long range. Fortunately for GM Danny Ainge, there are a good number of three-point specialists available on the trade market.
The Celtics' attempt at using Jason Terry and Courtney Lee to replace sharpshooter Ray Allen has failed miserably, and the numbers reflect it. After ranking seventh in three-point percentage last season, with a mark of 37-percent, Boston has slipped to 27th this season. The team's current three-point percentage is a lowly 33.5-percent.
This means that Ainge needs to get on the phone now, especially since the trade deadline is just a few weeks away. There are plenty of effective shooters that could be available on the market, and adding just one to the mix could be enough to get the Celtics that NBA fans know and love back in action.
With the season getting closer to being lost with each passing day, there is no better time than now for Ainge to start putting together potential trade packages.
If there's one thing that Young can do, it's shoot threes. He shot 44-percent from long range his junior year at USC, and has posted a career three-point percentage of 38-percent.
Young has continued to be a fine force from beyond the arc for the Philadelphia 76ers this season, averaging 10.5 points per game and shooting 37-percent from downtown. However, the Sixers are slowly falling out of the playoff picture, currently two and a half games out of the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
Given how Philadelphia already has solid shooters in Evan Turner, Jason Richardson and Dorell Wright, a deal for Young can easily be made. It's just a matter of Ainge and Sixers GM Tony DiLeo coming to terms on a deal, likely one involving Jeff Green, and Young can find himself trading in the red, white and blue for Celtics green.
Korver's Atlanta Hawks are still in the playoff picture, but the team could really use some help at the 2. Should Ainge be able to convince Danny Ferry to do a straight-up Korver-for-Terry swap, then both teams would greatly benefit.
Terry would be back in a system that lets him be a shooter who creates off the dribble, and Korver would become the hot three-point threat that the Celtics need. He is averaging 11.4 points per game this season and leads the NBA with an incredible three-point mark of 47-percent.
Granted, Korver is not as strong an athlete as Ray Allen was, but his prowess from behind the arc speaks for itself. He has thrived on the catch and shoot for most of his career, and would immediately inject some life into an otherwise anemic Boston offense.
Ben Gordon is an excellent shooter. In fact, ever since being drafted with the No. 3 pick back in 2004, he has made a name for himself as one of the NBA's deadliest three-point threats.
For his career, Gordon has averaged 16.3 points and shot 41-percent from long range.
The sad part about Gordon's story is that he is currently stuck on the Charlotte Bobcats, a team destined for the draft lottery yet again. For the season, he has averaged 13.1 points and shot 42-percent from long range.
Apart from the fact that his long-range shooting could be a godsend for the Celtics, playing for Boston would give Gordon the chance to play on a team with the potential to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. The Celtics need a shooter, and Gordon can fill that void.
The only red flag to consider is that Gordon does not usually do well in defensive systems. He underachieved in three years with the Detroit Pistons, at least in terms of points scored, and the Celtics would only need him to be a spark on offense.
Nonetheless, Danny Ainge should at least give Bobcats GM Rich Cho a call to discuss Gordon. He is an expiring contract, and could be acquired fairly cheap. Given how badly the Celtics need three-point shooting, it's a deal worth looking at.
Dunleavy has been a great shooter for his entire career, holding a career average of 12 points per game with a three-point percentage of 37-percent. He has done a fine job in that role for the Milwaukee Bucks this season, posting 11.3 points and shooting 43-percent from three-point land.
The former Blue Devil's contract also expires at the end of the season, and the Bucks could be looking to deal him should they continue to drop in the standings.
Fortunately for Ainge, someone like Dunleavy could come cheap. Most of his repertoire comes in the three-point shooting department, and his defensive abilities are limited. If a deal can be agreed to, the trigger must be pulled.
In terms of men who can improve the Celtics' offense, both as a whole and in the three-point department, Redick is the best man for the job. He has averaged 14.9 points per game for the Orlando Magic this season, and has shot a highly respectable 40-percent from long range. Even better is that after the Celtics lost to the New York Knicks on January 24, ESPN's Marc Stein mentioned how the team's interest in Redick had increased.
The best thing about Redick, however, is that he can do more than just shoot threes. He also has a solid mid-range game and has shot 46-percent from the field this season.
Moreover, Redick is more than just a man who waits wide open and takes the shot upon receiving the ball. Unlike most shooters, he can create off the dribble and find his own shot. Sound familiar, Boston fans?
His contract is expiring, and Ainge needs to get on the phone with Rob Hennigan to discuss a deal. Redick would be a perfect fit in Boston's system, and his coming to play in Beantown could easily salvage the Celtics' season.