Celtics Trade Targets with 2022 NBA Trade Deadline a Month Away

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2022

Celtics Trade Targets with 2022 NBA Trade Deadline a Month Away

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    With the 2022 NBA trade deadline fast approaching, it's clear the Boston Celtics need more firepower.

    No, not the kind of firepower that would require breaking apart All-Star wings Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown—a nuclear option that shouldn't even be considered without a Godfather offer sliding across the table. Rather, it's the kind that can complement the Celtics stars and make life easier on them.

    Shooting is the word of the month in Beantown, and the following three trade candidates could all provide it in spades.

Bryn Forbes, San Antonio Spurs

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    Five of the top six players in Boston's rotation are shooting below 33 percent from three. Three aren't even clearing 30 percent: Marcus Smart, who's posting his worst percentage in five years; Al Horford, who hasn't shot it this poorly since his first embrace of the three-point arc; and Robert Williams III, who basically doesn't look at the rim when he's outside the restricted area.

    Bryn Forbes would bring some needed balance to this attack.

    His three-point shot is more like a flamethrower. Since the start of 2018-19, he has buried 2.1 threes per outing at a 41.9 percent clip. And he's done that in all of just 23.1 minutes. Stretch his numbers out to a per-36-minutes scale, and it jumps to 3.3 threes a night.

    There aren't many other layers to his game, but that should be fine for the Shamrocks. Even a spacing specialist could do a lot for this offense, and he shouldn't cost too much to get.

Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets

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    In a perfect world, the Celtics would find someone who is a lights-out shooter, brings something else to the hardwood and wouldn't cost a fortune in trade capital.

    Keep dreaming, right? Well, maybe not.

    Eric Gordon has been absurdly deadly from distance (2.4 threes on 45.6 percent shooting). He has enough handles and vision to create offense for himself and his teammates in stretches. Finally, the fact that he is a 33-year-old with a lengthy injury history and a contract that will pay him $37.8 million over this season and next, per Spotrac, means Houston can't possibly ask for much in an exchange.

    If the Celtics are going to make a post-deadline push, they need to add someone who can make an instant impact. Gordon's experience and ability should help him do just that.

Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic

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    The clock on Terrence Ross' tenure with the Orlando Magic has been ticking loudly since the franchise embraced a top-to-bottom rebuild last season.

    Orlando doesn't technically have to trade him since he is signed through next season, but win-now shoppers should be willing to give up more for two playoff runs with Ross instead of one.

    While he's the least consistent shooter discussed here (30.2 percent from range this season), he's also the best athlete (by a mile) and may well be the most threatening to opposing defenses. His good stretches are too hot to touch, and his bucket binges could swing a playoff contest or three in his team's direction.

    Boston's bench has averaged the third-fewest points of any reserve unit this season. An ignitable scorer like Ross could help it rocket up the rankings.