5 Newly-available trade targets Celtics should pursue after Dec. 15

The Celtics are all-in on winning the championship, but who could they add to their roster?

Boston Celtics, Gabe Vincent
Boston Celtics, Gabe Vincent / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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The Boston Celtics remade their roster this offseason with a championship in mind. They have been to the conference finals five times in the last seven years, but needed help to take the next step. Boston traded for Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday to give them the best top-six in the NBA. They won 16 of their first 21 games and have looked like a title contender, but may be one piece short.

The Celtics depth could be problematic in the playoffs. Sam Hauser is the team’s seventh man and the sharpshooter struggled to get minutes in the 2023 postseason. Payton Pritchard had the first crack at that role but failed to lock it down. Al Horford has adapted seamlessly to a bench role, but the Celtics may need to trade for their final piece.

Dec. 15 is an important day on the NBA calendar as players who signed in the offseason become eligible to be traded. It opens up more possibilities for every franchise, and Boston should make a call on these five soon-to-be-available options.

5. Dennis Smith Jr.

The Nets are facing a crossroads decision before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. They are 12-10 to start the season, but currently sit ninth in the Eastern Conference. No team wants to be in the Play-In Tournament, so do they improve their roster in hopes of jumping into the top six? If not, does Brooklyn trade off a few pieces?

Mikal Bridges is outstanding, but the Nets won’t be serious title contenders without a superstar. Do they try to acquire one after the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving drama in Brooklyn? Sean Marks and the front office have plenty of difficult decisions to make.

Dennis Smith Jr. remade his NBA career in Charlotte last season and is playing a crucial role for the Nets. The Celtics are searching for a backup point guard, and DSJ would offer more defense and size than Pritchard. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason, so Boston might be able to get him at a discount if the Nets decide to sell.