2017 NBA Trade Deadline rumor round-up: Sunday, February 19th

There's five days left (counting today) until the NBA Trade deadline on February 23rd, and things are heating up.

In addition to reports suggesting the Boston Celtics may be interested in P.J. Tucker, there's some new life in old rumors concerning several big-name players around the league, including a few involving the Boston Celtics. Let's take a quick look around the league to see what's been bubbling up - and keep in mind any and all leaks circulating right now should be viewed with extreme caution. All parties from agents and players on up to owners and general managers may be making statements to cloud the market, or to alter the asking price on a targeted player. Nothing is off the table this week.

This one's the rumor that wouldn't die, and most of us - one way or another - really  wish it would. The latest wrinkle, fresh off reports connecting the Orlando Magic and a failed offer involving Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and picks just yesterday, suggests the New Orleans Pelicans are in talks with the Sacramento Kings over a deal that would include Buddy Hield, this year's first round draft pick and a second first-round draft pick (and, presumably, salary match or dumps of some sort). ESPN's Justin Verrier has also suggested New Orleans has made overtures regarding Paul George.

Yet another reliable trade rumor of late, this one is seeing new life as the deadline draws near, with the Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reporting trade talks between the Chicago Bulls and Celts have re-started, but haven't gotten far. Woj notes:

"These are two teams that have exactly what the other wants. Boston has been hoarding assets for years, for a couple of seasons, trying to get in a position to get a star player. The fact that the Celtics have a swap with Brooklyn this year that could potentially be a top-3 pick and they have Brooklyn's pick outright next year. Either of those picks, I don't think Chicago can get both of them, but that is the beginning point of a deal for the Bulls for Jimmy Butler"

It should probably go without saying here, but don't get your hopes up - the gap between what Chicago needs and what Boston can afford to let go is pretty far apart. Then again, we were saying the same thing about a guy named Kevin in the summer of 2007, so...

Friday, the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett reported the Celts have interest in Denver Nuggets wing Gallinari, who "hasn’t been on the rumor radar, but that also was the case when Ainge went after Isaiah Thomas two years ago", a fair point. It may make as much sense to keep tabs on players Danny Ainge isn't talking about or tied to intensely as those he is (Andre Drummond, perhaps?) at this point. Not much substance here, but worth keeping tabs on, as Bulpett suggests.
Yesterday, it was reported the Indiana Pacers are open to moving their pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in order to secure some impact player, and today, we have heard much of the same concerning the Washington Wizards. In the case fo the former, it seems Larry Bird and company may be worried about the possibility of losing Paul George should the front office not be able to surround him with the talent he needs to succeed, while the latter may be making a push to try and get John Wall and the rest of the Wizards a puncher's chance at getting to the NBA finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers looking somewhat mortal of late.

It very well may not look to move. With reports that Danny does not intend to sacrifice cap flexibility or assets for "rental" players, many if not most potentially available targets may not fit the bill, though this by no means precludes back-channel assurances or desperation moves changing the equation. Don't be surprised if the roster looks the same on Friday - or only a little different - than it does today, but don't write off a major move should the stars align and the opportunity look too good to pass up.

For more stories about the trade deadline on CelticsLife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.

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