The Boston Celtics have now lost five straight games, and handed the New York Knicks their first win in Boston in six years on Thursday night. The 20-22 Celtics are now clinging to the East Conference’s final playoff spot, and could be in need of a shakeup.
The cause for Boston’s recent slump has been an anemic offense, and they could look for a boost from smooth shooting Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick, according to ESPN.com.
During their 89-86 loss to New York, Boston went 3-for-18 from the 3-point line, and have shot just a shade under 41 percent from the field overall during their losing streak.
Redick is fourth on the Magic with 14.9 points per game, and shooting 39.8 percent from beyond the arc, and could provide Boston with better outside shooting. Making $6 million this year, the 28-year-old is also a free agent at the end of the season, increasing his value for a Celtics team that could try to pare down salaries.
Leandro Barbosa and Paul Pierce are Boston’s top three-point shooters, but Barbosa plays just 10 minutes a game, and team-scoring leader Pierce is already asked to carry the bulk of the offense.
Strangely enough, Pierce is one of the Celtics best trade chips, along with young defensive minded guard Avery Bradley and rookie forward Jared Sullinger, who Boston has publicly stated might have been one of the biggest steals in the draft.
Pierce and his $15.3 million salary is not fully guaranteed next season, so he could be seen as an expiring contract that Orlando can take off their books next season.
The Magic would have to send back Redick and at least one other player to make contracts match, which could be ideal for a team that is clearly preparing for free agency in Summer 2014. Orlando has $73 million committed to salary next season, assuming Hedo Turkoglu activates his $12 million player option, but have just $22.7 million in payroll come 2014.
Boston was also tied to Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins earlier this season, but the Kings new ownership may decide to keep the troubled young forward in anticipation for their move to Seattle next year. Cousins could certainly help a Celtics frontline that is 29th in the league in rebounds per game.
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