The hottest ticket in NBA trade deadline sweepstakes appears to belong to the Atlanta Hawks. And they are treating it like a Super Bowl ticket at the 50.

Guard Jeff Teague (0) and center Al Horford (15)  are reportedly on the trading block. (Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports)

Guard Jeff Teague (0) and center Al Horford (15) are reportedly on the trading block. (Steve Dykes/USA TODAY Sports)

The hottest ticket in NBA trade deadline sweepstakes appears to belong to the Atlanta Hawks. And they are treating it like a Super Bowl ticket at the 50.

According to Celtics‘ CSNNE sideline reporter Chris Mannix, the Hawks are asking a king’s ransom for big man Al Horford and guard Jeff Teague less than a week before Thursday’s trading deadline.

Many NBA trade rumors have long linked the Celtics to the 29-year-old Horford for two basic reasons. There’s an obvious need for the Celtics in the post to strengthen their potential playoff run in the East.

The Celtics are in third place with a 32-23 record at the All-Star break and could make a run at the No. 1 or 2 seed. Secondly, the Celtics are one of the few teams with the capital on hand to execute the deal the Hawks are looking for, as Boston currently holds three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, including Brooklyn’s lottery pick.

But that doesn’t mean Boston would be willing to deal, according to Mannix.

“From everything I’ve been told in the last two or three days, Atlanta’s requests for both Al Horford and Jeff Teague have been borderline ridiculous,” Mannix said Thursday on CSNNE. “The kind of things teams like Boston, or Milwaukee, or Denver simply won’t deal for the players they want.

“Things like this tend to cool off though. As we get close to the deadline — when we get to the 17th, when we get to the 18th (the trade deadline) — that’s when the real horse trading begins. That’s when [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge will know if Atlanta is really serious about trading Al Horford.”

Horford has started all 55 games this season and is averaging 15.3 points per game and 6.9 rebounds. The biggest deterrent to making a deal would be the fact that Horford will become a free agent at the end of the season. Teague, at 27, is also still in the prime of his career. He’s in the third year of a four-year, $32 million contract.

There have been multiple reports that the Hawks are considering trading the two pieces to try and get to the top of the draft and to position themselves for the new salary cap that takes effect next season, with a cap coming in at around $89 million, a jump of $19 million. In two years, the cap mushrooms to $108 million.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Boston Celtics stud Evan Turner joins the WEEI Celtics Podcast to reflect on the Celtics hot streak going into the All-Star break. Turner discussed how much he values being in a great situation in Boston and tries to get inside the life of Brad Stevens. First, Sam Packard and Jared Weiss chopped it up with Kyle Draper, covering the Celtics thrilling classic against Paul Pierce and the Los Angeles Clippers and broke down potential trade scenarios ahead of the deadline.

Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday morning to discuss the latest Celtics trade rumors, notably Al Horford. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Al Horford

Al Horford

Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Thursday morning to discuss the latest Celtics trade rumors, notably Al Horford. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Mannix feels if the Celtics can get a chance to trade for the Atlanta forward they should do so because he can help the team not only now, but years down the line.

“I think Al Horford — if you’re ranking the free agents out there by tiers, putting them into classes, Al Horford is on that next tier right below Kevin Durant, LeBron, if you want to call him a free agent — he’s right there. He’s a bonafide star at his position.” Mannix said. “He plays both front court spots. He’s a great guy, so he won’t disrupt the character of the locker room. I think he’s going to be a highly productive player for the next three years. You throw a guy like Al Horford into that mix, and while he’s not one of those free agent magnets, what he is is another player to a group of bursting young players that is going to be really attractive to other free agent players to come join up and play with.

“The word is out on Brad Stevens. People want to play for this guy and if you deepen this team and add a potential All-Star like Al Horford to the mix, you got to do it if you have the opportunity.”

The Celtics have a number of future draft picks, including Brooklyn’s first rounder this year. Mannix doesn’t feel they will need to trade that pick for Horford, but a few of their future draft picks should be included in a potential package.

“It’s not going to take the Brooklyn pick. They are not giving the Brooklyn pick up for Al Horford. That’s insane,” Mannix said. “Right now Atlanta is in that whacky phase of trade season where they are asking for the moon. That is not going to happen. They are asking for a lot for Jeff Teague. They are asking for a lot for Al Horford. None of the deals out there that are circulating for any team are close to being imminent. What you have to look forward to is February 18 right around noon eastern when the Hawks have to make a decision.

“Do we believe Al Horford is part of our team for the long-term, who do we want to get the best possible deal for him down the line? If that is the case, I think Boston can put together an attractive package of David Lee‘s contract, one of their young bigs up front and maybe two of the many first-round draft picks that they have over the next three years. They keep that Brooklyn pick because Horford isn’t the type of player you trade that pick for, but would you trade the Brooklyn pick in 2018? Yeah. I think you consider that.”

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Celtics guard Avery Bradley reacts after hitting a key 3-pointer on Wednesday.</p>
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Trailing a big win by the Celtics over the Clippers, Paul Flannery of SB Nation calls in to talk everything Celtics.

[0:00:40] ... Brad Stevens or as the team DNA they fight back with a Isiah Thomas wait they get down for nothing in overtime this team never quits and that was evident tonight huge OT win against the ...
[0:02:33] ... to the trade speculation your coming up that's for this one tonight. Isiah Thomas he's undersized he sometimes take shots ball that you leave you scratching my head takes the basket where. They'll throw one up ...
[0:05:28] ... stretch. Brad Stevens followed deciding you know what and I can't play David Lee anymore and tighten up this rotation a couple of players including Isiah Thomas as she spoke out publicly and said. We have set rotation and look it's it's still. It's still Brad Stephens he still mix and match he started market sparked the second half tonight to go small against the clippers but I do feel like this solidifying of this. A who's gonna play night in night out. That is help them form an identity do you buy into that rotation being part of what is propel the Celtics forward here recently. Absolutely I really do you know I mean you mentioned David Lee almost a bad guys get really do well to. You know its current path yeah really. You did did the numbers and ...
[0:07:32] ... a Golden State but not bad odds link Casey to Ronald to Rick Carlisle to do this forever and perfect in game coach. Yet but no I think in terms of that upper level coaches he's ...






The Celtics never give up.

Isaiah Thomas gets a shot off over Paul Pierce in overtime. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Isaiah Thomas gets a shot off over Paul Pierce in overtime. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Celtics never give up.

Scoring seven points in the final minute of regulation, Isaiah Thomas & Co. forced overtime, where they defeated the visiting Clippers, 139-134.

After both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half, the Celtics took a 10-point lead late in the third quarter, but saw that lead disappear in the fourth. Lance Stephenson’s corner 3-pointer tied the game, 106-106, just before he earned a technical foul for taunting the C’s bench. Still, Los Angeles took a five-point lead on an 8-3 run with 4:04 left.

Still trailing by five in the final minute, the Celtics closed the quarter on a 7-2 run. In that span, Isaiah Thomas scored six points, including a fadeaway jumper over DeAndre Jordan to send the game to overtime. In the extra period, Evan Turner caught fire, scoring half of his 14 points. The Celtics erased a six-point deficit, outscored the Clippers 17-12 in the extra frame and stifled Jamal Crawford‘s last-minute game-tying 3-point attempt to seal a remarkably resilient win.

Thomas’ 36 points led six Celtics in double figures, and Jared Sullinger flirted with a triple-double (21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists). Chris Paul (35 points, 13 assists) and DeAndre Jordan (21 points, 16 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles for the Clippers. Former Celtic Paul Pierce scored all six of his points on a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter. TD Garden gave him and former coach Doc Rivers a loud ovation during the player introductions.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Jared Sullinger.

Sullinger had his hands full guarding DeAndre Jordan in the paint, but responded on offense. He scored 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished seven assists. He also connected on a rare 3-pointer to give the Celtics the lead in the extra period, capping a 6-2 run.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: Amir Johnson.

Unlike Sullinger, Johnson couldn’t find his offense. In fact, he couldn’t find a way to impact the game in any statistical category, finishing the night with zero points and a pair of turnovers.

VINE OF THE NIGHT: Welcome back, Paul.

WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Pick-and-roll defense.

There isn’t a point guard in the league that’s better at executing the pick-and-roll than Chris Paul. The Celtics struggled defending the veteran point guard, as he either scored a jump shot, dished to a big man or scored a layup. The pick-and-roll often caught the Celtics in a mismatch, which gave Paul an advantage to blow past one of the Celtics’ big men. The pick-and-roll certainly sparked the Clippers’ offense in the second half and nearly cost the C’s the game.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: 32 fouls.

Aside from the Hack-a-DeAndre Jordan, the Celtics committed a ton of fouls in the last two periods of the game. Paul did an excellent job drawing fouls and blew past nearly every one of his defenders (especially Jonas Jerebko). Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart — two of the Celtics’ best defenders — fouled out of the game. Yet, the Celtics still won. That’s impressive.

@ OF THE NIGHT:

Blog Author: 
WEEI

As Paul Pierce returned to TD Garden as a member of the Clippers, the 18-year veteran said Wednesday’s game against the Celtics might be the last time he plays in Boston.