Celtics searching for big man on trade market as deadline nears

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Report: Celtics searching for big man on NBA trade market originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Frontcourt depth is important in the NBA playoffs when the game slows down and things like halfcourt defense and rebounding become even more critical to winning games.

And it sounds like the Boston Celtics are looking to upgrade in that area ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

Chris Haynes of Turner Sports reported Tuesday that the C’s “are in the market for a big (man).”

“The defending Eastern Conference champs are seeking to add injury insurance behind Robert Williams III and Al Horford, two players they have to carefully manage during the regular season,” Haynes wrote. “If the Celtics don’t acquire a big before the trade deadline, they’ll turn their attention to the buyout market.”

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Celtics Talk: Do the Celtics need to make a trade? Pondering Brad Stevens’ deadline conundrum | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Looking for another big makes sense for the Celtics.

Robert Williams is a tremendous player, especially on defense, but whether he’ll be able to play a full playoff run remains to be seen. Boston’s starting center has battled numerous injuries in his career, and he missed the first 30 games of this season recovering from offseason knee surgery. Horford is also 36 years old, and the Celtics would be wise to manage his minutes in the last couple months of the regular season.

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Blake Griffin has started nine games at center this season, including Monday night’s loss to the Orlando Magic, but he’s not going to make a huge impact on either side of the floor at this stage of his career.

Forsberg: On Jakob Poeltl and the Celtics’ trade deadline dilemma

The ideal big man acquisition would be a player who can stretch the floor and be a threat from 3-point range. However, a center who defends the paint well, blocks shots and rebounds at a high rate would be a nice addition, too. One such example is Jakob Poeltl. The San Antonio Spurs center is averaging 12.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

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The Celtics reportedly have expressed “significant interest” in Poeltl, but the reported asking price is pretty steep at two first-round picks.

Whether it’s Poeltl or someone else, adding frontcourt depth would be a smart play for the Celtics as they try to fortify their roster before the trade deadline.

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