The NBA trade deadline is drawing nearer and nearer, and with the Boston Celtics in the midst of a four-game winning streak including wins over the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers, GM Danny Ainge may look to add a couple of pieces to his roster rather than blow things up.
Of course, the Celtics lost Rajon Rondo for the year after an ACL tear, and more recently, it was announced that rookie and key contributor Jared Sullinger would be out for the remainder of the season due to a back issue that required surgery.
Obviously, Boston now has some holes that it may need to fill. Let's look at some potential under-the-radar moves the C's could make to patch up those wounds.
1. Trade for Luke Ridnour
With Rondo now done for the year, the Celtics do not have a true point guard on the roster. Luke Ridnour is hardly spectacular, but he would serve as a nice stopgap for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign.
He is relatively cheap, as he is owed $4 million this season and a little more than $4 million next season in the final year of his contract, and has experience. He also should not cost too much in terms of players. It would be hard to envision any team giving up great value for someone of Ridnour's caliber.
2. Trade for Samuel Dalembert
With Samuel Dalembert being the odd man out in the Milwaukee Bucks' frontcourt rotation, the Bucks may definitely look to deal him.
The main issue with Dalembert is that he is a bit pricey for just one year, as he is making nearly $7 million this season. That could make things somewhat dicy in terms of matching contracts, but being that Boston's frontline is so thin, it may be worth it.
Dalembert is averaging a very impressive 13.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per 36 minutes, and it's fairly safe to say that the veteran center would get ample playing time with the C's. It would be surprising if Ainge didn't at least pick up the phone and contact Milwaukee about a potential trade for the big man.
3. Trade for Jason Maxiell
While Jason Maxiell does not exactly bring that much height to the table (he stands 6'7"), he would bring a tough, athletic presence that could do some of the dirty work on the interior.
Maxiell's per 36 numbers are decent, as the soon-to-be 30-year-old is averaging 10.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks over those minutes.
If Sullinger were healthy, the Celtics probably wouldn't even entertain anything like this, but with the frontcourt depth hurting as much as it is, they may kick the tires on a guy like Maxiell.
Maxiell is due $5 million this season before entering free agency this summer.
4. Trade for Timofey Mozgov
Mozgov's per 36 numbers are actually solid. The 7'1" center is averaging 9.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, and his mere presence in the lane makes it more difficult for opponents to get good shots off near the rim.
Even if he is never going to be a star, Mozgov is still only 26 and has room to grow, and playing alongside of Kevin Garnett could help him considerably. His potential addition would undoubtedly add some much-needed aid to the C's' frontline.
5. Trade for Jason Smith
Jason Smith is playing behind the likes of Robin Lopez, Anthony Davis, and Ryan Anderson in the New Orleans Hornets' frontcourt, so it seems unlikely that he will ever get a chance to play big minutes there.
Smith has shown that he can score the basketball, as the seven-footer is averaging 16.5 points per 36 minutes and is shooting a solid 47.4 percent from the floor. He is not the greatest rebounder in the world with a total rebound percentage of only 12.8, but his size would certainly help the Celtics on the glass.
Smith is also inexpensive, as he is making only $5 million this year and next year combined.
The 26-year-old has not been mentioned in any Boston rumors, but it would seem appropriate for Ainge to give the Hornets a call about his availability.