The Celtics‘ recent hot streak appears to have shifted the team’s perspective heading into the trade deadline, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, who hears from sources that Boston has gone from being a possible seller to a potential buyer.
Celtics head coach Ime Udoka likes what he has seen from his team lately and doesn’t sound particularly eager to break up the current group, but he acknowledged that Boston’s eight wins in its last nine games, including six victories in a row, may change the deadline equation for the front office — especially since the Celtics’ strong recent play may boost the trade value of some of their players.
“We’re happy with how we’re playing, happy with what the guys are doing and seeing our full group together now,” Udoka said, per Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe.“I’m sure it changed some of the [trade] conversation based on what we’re doing lately.”
Here are a few more Celtics-related notes and rumors:
- According to Mannix, Boston continues to shop Dennis Schröder in trade talks, but teams that have talked to the Celtics say they’re asking for a player and draft capital in any deal involving the guard. The C’s seem unlikely to part with Schröder unless they get a rotation player in return, says Mannix, adding that the Bucks, Cavaliers, and Mavericks remain in the mix. We wrote on Tuesday about what a Milwaukee or Cleveland deal for Schröder might look like.
- Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com has also heard that the Celtics want something of value back for Schröder and aren’t just looking for a deal that gets them under the luxury tax line. “He’s been playing well, and he’s been a good part of what they’re doing lately,” one league exec said to Bulpett. “I still think they might prefer to move him, but now they’re looking for an asset in return. They don’t feel like they HAVE to trade him now, and they’d like to turn him into an asset for next year.”
- Some people in the organization would like to keep Schröder for depth purposes, while others would be comfortable using Josh Richardson and Payton Pritchard to replace his minutes, says Bulpett. According to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link), Boston also expects veteran point guards to be available on the buyout market, which could be an option if the team trades Schröder without receiving a point guard in return.
- Rival teams seem to enjoy talking trades with new Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens more than they did with Danny Ainge, Smith adds (via Twitter). “It’s less like you’re giving up rights to your first-born,” one opposing executive said. Another said Ainge had a tendency to try to “get blood from a stone and squeeze for ‘one more thing.'”