Should C's stand pat at deadline? House and Mannix weigh in originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics are sitting pretty ahead of the 2024 NBA trade deadline. Their offseason additions of Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday have worked wonders and helped them achieve a league-best 34-10 record as of Tuesday.
At this point, C's president of basketball operations Brad Stevens must decide whether it's worth shaking up his roster for the final stretch. He could opt to use the $6.2 million traded player exception (TPE) that Boston generated from its Grant Williams sign-and-trade last summer.
With the Celtics currently firing on all cylinders, however, there's reason to believe that the best deadline move they could make is no move at all. Our Eddie House made that argument on Monday night's edition of Celtics Pregame Live.
"I'm of the belief that if it's not broke, don't fix it," the 2008 NBA champion said. "At the beginning of the season, I was thinking we might need to get another player, we might need to bolster up out front line. But I think they've been doing a great job. I think they've done a great job of managing our bigs and our bigs staying fresh. Whether it be (Neemias) Queta coming in and giving great minutes, or Luke Kornet like he's done numerous times. Sam Hauser's played well, Payton Pritchard has played well. We've also seen Oshae Brissett come in and change that game against Miami when they were down and add energy, and from that point on his energy was infectious and they ended up winning that game at home.
"So, I'm thinking that sometimes you don't need to change nothing if it's working. Now, if you can add a piece that you know will fit, then that works. But if it's something that you're just going to start reaching and throwing darts in the dark and seeing wherever it lands, I'm not sure I would want to do that because you might disrupt the energy and the chemistry that this team has rolling right now. Being the best team in the league, I don't know what more somebody is looking for."
The Celtics' bench -- particularly the frontcourt behind an oft-injured Porzingis and 37-year-old Al Horford -- was the primary concern heading into the campaign. So far this season though, role players have stepped up.
Queta, as House mentions, has turned heads with his hustle and rebounding ability in his limited minutes. The two-way big man is a candidate to be converted to a standard deal before his NBA eligibility runs its course. Kornet also has held his own as a backup for Porzingis and Horford.
Hauser and Pritchard have provided much-needed scoring off the bench. On multiple occasions, Brissett has given the C's an energy boost with his admirable hustle.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix seconded House's take but acknowledged that additional frontcourt depth couldn't hurt.
"I do agree with that," Mannix told House. "I think the best course of action, barring something stunning making an appearance on the trade market, is to continue on, keep developing Hauser, keep working with Payton Pritchard and some of the guys that Eddie was talking about in the frontcourt. Maybe they can give you minutes. That's another part, I do think they're gonna need frontcourt minutes from someone to supplement Al Horford and Kristaps Porzingis."
The Celtics currently sit 3.5 games ahead of the second-place Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings. Forty-four games into the season, they rank third in offensive rating (120.1) and second in defensive rating (110.3) for the best net rating in the league (9.7).
The 2024 NBA trade deadline is set for Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. ET.