While the Miami Heat reportedly were willing to trade veterans in a package for Aldridge, Scotto reported that executives around the league thought the Celtics may be willing to use their $28.5 million trade exception from the sign-and-trade that sent Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets in order to bring Aldridge to Boston.
Celtics general manager and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said over the weekend that the team would "most likely" use the exception in the offseason, after it was previously reported that he believed the "sweet spot" for using it would come "toward the end of March" (h/t Jack Maloney of CBS Sports).
In February, Ainge said the Celtics were "looking for complete players," citing the team's needs for defense and "shooting with size," per Maloney.
Aldridge, a 6'11", 250-pound star who has played power forward and center in his 15 seasons in the league, could solve those problems for Boston. The 35-year-old is averaging 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and could provide bench depth on the wing or behind Tristan Thompson at center.
He is set to earn $24 million this season, so the Celtics—who are $19.9 million below the cap—would need to move $4.1 million if they were to acquire him, per HoopsHype's Yossi Gozlan (h/t Scotto).
Scotto said the Celtics have also been linked to Harrison Barnes, Jerami Grant and Nikola Vucevic ahead of the March 25 deadline.