Hawks may look to blow it up with a blockbuster deal, there are two ways Celtics can take advantage

On Tuesday, ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Kevin Arnovitz published a piece saying the Hawks have come to the realization that they're not a contender and "are engaged in serious internal discussions ahead of the Feb. 18 trade deadline about the future direction of their team."  Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver are all listed as potentially being on the block.

We've heard previously that the Celtics inquired about Horford and Teague, but this is the first mention that Atlanta may be looking to part with Korver as well.  During Tuesday's pregame show, CSNNE's Chris Mannix spoke about the possibility of Horford coming to the C's:

Al Horford is a legitimate possibility for the Celtics. I think that is the guy, one of the guys across the league that Danny Ainge is the most excited about. He is a 4-man that would fit right into what Boston is trying to do. It will cost a lot of money to re-sign him in the offseason, but I think Boston's willing to pay it because they haven't paid a lot of money for players in recent years. 
I do believe Boston's very much in the mix for Al Horford.

Windhorst and Arnovitz also stated that the Celtics are among the most aggressive teams "in looking to acquire a veteran difference maker."

In a separate ESPN Insider piece, Chad Ford suggested the following trade possibilities:

Deal No. 2 has more flaws than I even want to get into, but No. 1 seems plausible (although I suspect expect Atlanta might want more--Avery Bradley?).

Don't forget that Danny Ainge recently said he's unlikely to make a move for a star in his 30s, and Horford will turn 30 in June (although Ainge's stance may differ if it doesn't involve giving up the Brooklyn pick).

Regardless of whether or not Boston can swing a trade with Atlanta, there's another side to this story for C's fans:  If the Hawks do blow it up, they're almost certain to get worse this season.  Combine that with Chicago's recent slump/Jimmy Butler's injury, and the Celtics' path to home-court advantage in Round 1 of the playoffs could get a lot easier.

Follow Mark Vandeusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan