3 Trade Targets for Celtics to Pursue at 2022 Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2022

3 Trade Targets for Celtics to Pursue at 2022 Deadline

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    Brad Stevens added a new job title this offseason when the Boston Celtics named him president of basketball operations.

    Let's get the petition started for Stevens to add a second label: straight shooter.

    "We have a lot to fix," he said recently.

    Past the midway point of the 2021-22 NBA season, Boston took a .500 record into Tuesday night. It's the exact same mark with which it finished the previous campaign.

    If the franchise refuses to accept this fate—as it should since the All-Star tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown alone should net a winning record—then Stevens is right. He has plenty to do between now and the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

    Carefully considering the following three targets would be a great place to start.

Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings

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    This isn't the first time Harrison Barnes has been linked to the Shamrocks, and it shouldn't be the last.

    He might not be the first name that comes to mind when considering third stars to support the Jays, but the fact he sits a tier beneath full-fledged stardom might be a good thing. It would at least make him easier to pencil into a third-banana role, meaning he wouldn't step on any toes and should fill in the cracks wherever they form from one night to the next.

    He's as solid as a Grant Williams screen, and Barnes has the adaptability needed to thrive as a glue guy. He can play all three frontcourt spots—though, you'd be pretty desperate (or bold) to play him at the 5 for more than a pinch—he can guard up or down a position on defense and his three-ball boasts a 38 percent splash rate over his decade-long career.

    The Sacramento Kings, who are forever going nowhere fast, should be ready to talk shop on a Barnes' swap. If the Celtics can bend their ear with an offer, it might be a no-brainer.

John Collins, Atlanta Hawks

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    John Collins inked a five-year, $125 million pact with the Atlanta Hawks just last season. But if you thought that for sure tied his future to theirs, you apparently thought wrong.

    "Everyone but Trae Young and Clint Capela are available," an assistant general manager told B/R's Jake Fischer.

    If you listened closely when that report dropped, you might have heard Stevens scrambling to the nearest phone.

    Collins would be an excellent third wheel. He's a good enough scorer to serve as the primary option some nights, but on the rest, he could complement the stars while subsisting on catch-and-launch threes and hard rolls to the rim. Defense isn't the sharpest weapon in his arsenal, but his length and bounce have value on that end, plus the Celtics have Williams to cover up any miscues.

Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings

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    Contrary to what this list might suggest, no, the Celtics shouldn't spend trade season trying to raid the Kings' roster.

    However, just like Barnes, Buddy Hield could really help this roster—albeit in a completely different fashion.

    While Barnes offers do-it-all appeal, Hield is a specialist. But his high-volume, high-efficiency outside shooting could be a big boon to this offense and its bottom-third perimeter connection rate, so his singular focus shouldn't bother Boston's front office.

    Hield is about as lethal as they come from long range. Since the start of 2018-19, he has buried 3.7 triples per night at a 40 percent clip. Having that caliber of three-point threat on the floor should take a lot of defensive attention away from the Jays.