NBA Rumors: Celtics and Other Teams Looking to Make a Trade Before Deadline

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2013

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 2: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics disputes a foul called on him against the Memphis Grizzlies during the game on January 2, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Whether your team is a playoff contender or a bottom feeder, most likely it will want to make a move before the NBA trade deadline. 

Even if there is no way to help this season, general managers are always looking for ways to help their teams upgrade for the future.

While almost every team is attached to some degree of speculation, these squads are the most likely to make a trade in the next few weeks.


Boston Celtics

With both Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger out for the year with various injuries, it is time for the Celtics to start looking toward the future.

This seems like exactly what general manager Danny Ainge is set to do, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:

There's a rising expectation among some of Ainge's peers that Boston will instead try to move out at least one member of the Brandon Bass/Jason Terry/Courtney Lee trio before the deadline to make getting under the luxury-tax threshold his February focus.

It would obviously be ideal if he could trade veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but Stein reports that it is unlikely they would receive much value in a deal.  

Still, the desire to move under the luxury-tax threshold should motivate the squad to make some sort of deal.


Cleveland Cavaliers

The salary cap often causes teams to make moves to clear salary, but other squads can use it to their advantages.

Apparently, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be that team.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that the team is still looking for moves and "would be open to renting their remaining $4 million in cap space for another draft pick."

There will be plenty of teams looking to shed payroll, and the Cavaliers have a lot of room available. In the NBA, this is enough for them to make a deal that benefits the future.


Phoenix Suns

While other teams are making exploratory discussions at this point, the Phoenix Suns are reportedly interested in one person: Josh Smith.

Alex Kennedy of Hoops World said of the team's interest: 

The Suns are very interested in Smith and have had exploratory talks with the Atlanta Hawks about the 27-year-old forward. Phoenix views Smith as a franchise player who can be one of the cornerstones of the team for years to come. The Suns have been searching for a face of the franchise since Steve Nash’s departure last summer, and Smith could be exactly that.

The Atlanta Hawks forward has been the subject of rumors and speculation all season, but so far the team has not made any real attempt to move him.

However, Smith would be a big addition for a Suns team with one of the worst records in the NBA.