The Boston Celtics have now lost five straight games, and conceded their first lost to the New York Knicks in Boston in six years on Thursday night. The Celtics dropped to 20-22 and are now clinging to the East Conference’s final playoff spot, and could be in need of a shakeup.
One cause for Boston’s recent slump has been an inconsistent offense. ESPN reports that the Celtics are in talks with the Orlando Magic about adding J.J. Redick.
The Celtics could use another shooter. During their 89-86 loss to New York, Boston went 3-for-18 from the three-point line, and have shot just a shade under 41 percent from the field during their losing streak.
Redick is fourth in scoring on the Magic at 14.9 points per game, and shooting 39.8 percent from beyond the arc. The 28-year-old has an expiring contract and is earning $6 million this season. Boston is looking to trim their payroll while still making a stronger playoff push, so adding an expiring contract is an ideal situation.
Leandro Barbosa and Paul Pierce are Boston’s top three-point shooters, but Barbosa plays just 10 minutes a game, and Pierce is already asked to carry the bulk of the offense while leading the team in scoring.
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Pierce also happens to be one of the Celtics best trade chips, along with young defensive-minded guard Avery Bradley and rookie forward Jared Sullinger, who Boston has publicly stated might have been one of the biggest steals in the draft.
Pierce and his $15.3 million salary is not fully guaranteed next season, so he could be seen as an expiring contract that Orlando can take off their books next season.
The Magic would have to send back Redick and at least one other player to make contracts match, which could be ideal for a team that is clearly preparing for free agency in Summer 2014. Orlando has $73 million committed to salaries next season, assuming Hedo Turkoglu activates his $12 million player option, but have just $22.7 million in payroll come 2014.
Boston was also tied to Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins earlier this season, but the Kings new ownership may decide to keep the troubled young forward in anticipation of their move to Seattle next year. Cousins could certainly help a Celtics frontline that is 29th in the league in rebounds per game.