The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, but the Boston Celtics, who own the Eastern Conference's best record at 39-15, have made one move and could be looking for more.
Boston will sign former Phoenix Suns center Greg Monroe to a one-year, $5 million deal, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, but the C's are also connected to a few other names as Thursday approaches. They also could be moving a key piece of their rotation.
You can take a look at those rumors below in addition to some recent chatter about Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood.
Tyreke Evans and Lou Williams
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the C's are looking at two proficient backcourt scorers currently plying their trade for Western Conference teams: "According to two Western Conference sources, the Celts are still in pursuit of Lou Williams and Tyreke Evans. They have had discussions regarding others, but those two appear to be the main targets as the C’s look to add scoring off the bench."
Bulpett went on to say that the Memphis Grizzlies' current asking price for Evans is a first-rounder but that the Celtics aren't willing to make that deal.
It seems like a matter of if and not when Evans and Williams are dealt. The Grizz are holding Evans out of games through the trade deadline in anticipation of an eventual transaction. Memphis is about to embark on a full rebuild after falling to 12th place in the Western Conference this season following seven straight postseason appearances.
The Los Angeles Clippers just traded star forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons and are in the midst of a facelift as well. Los Angeles could get a good return for Williams, a hot-shooting guard averaging a career-high 23.4 points per game in his 13th season in the league.
Either player would be a great fit for the C's, who could use another proficient scorer off the bench. Don't be surprised to see either Evans or Williams in Celtic green by the weekend but not at the expense of a first-round pick.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the C's are taking offers on guard Marcus Smart:
Smart is a tough defender (he has a positive defensive real-plus minus mark of 0.57) who can stick with anyone on the court outside the center. He's also a versatile offensive player who can run the point or play shooting guard or small forward.
On the flip side, he's struggled shooting during his four-year career, making just 35.8 percent of his field goals and 29.3 percent of his three-pointers.
Still, he'd be a valuable asset to any team. Smart is already a solid contributor for the Celtics, but a guard like Evans or Williams could be a better fit to give the team more scoring punch off the bench.
Smart could be a good fit in Denver, which currently ranks in the bottom third in the NBA in defensive efficiency. But would the Nuggets be willing to part with a first-round pick? The guess here is probably not, but keep an eye on Smart as the deadline nears.
According to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls are interesting in trading for Utah Jazz shooting guard Rodney Hood, who is averaging 16.4 points per game and just dropped 30 on the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.
Hood would be a good fit for the Thunder and Pistons. The Thunder need more depth at shooting guard after starter Andre Roberson suffered a season-ending torn Achilles.
Furthermore, Hood could take some of the scoring load off Oklahoma City's top four stars (Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Steven Adams). Right now, Oklahoma City's leading scoring reserve is forward Jerami Grant, who is averaging 7.5 points per game.
With Hood in the mix, the Thunder could be primed to make a run at the conference's third seed (the top two are almost certain to be the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets at this point).
The Pistons have room for a guard after trading Avery Bradley in the Griffin deal. However, the Pistons are 4-0 since the transaction, and wings Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson have fared well with additional opportunities (notably when they combined for 48 points in a 125-114 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers).
Granted, it's a small sample size, but Detroit may be best served standing pat and waiting to see where this current roster goes.
Chicago would be a strange fit for Hood given it's a young team currently in rebuilding mode, as the guard seems best served for a team looking to make a playoff run.
The Bulls are well out of the playoff race with an 18-35 record, which is 8.5 games behind the eighth-place Philadelphia 76ers for the final spot. They are building around a young core featuring point guard Kris Dunn, shooting guard Zach LaVine and power forward Lauri Markannen. It'd be strange to see them be buyers at the trade deadline considering their standing.
Of the three destinations, Oklahoma City seems like the best fit and the most likely landing spot for Hood, but can the Thunder and Jazz agree on a deal?