Report: Rival execs think Celtics hope to trade for scoring forward
Brian Babineau / National Basketball Association / Getty

With the March 25 trade deadline on the horizon and his team sitting at 17-17, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge could be on track to make his first in-season trade acquisition since prying Isaiah Thomas from the Phoenix Suns in 2015.

Rival executives believe the franchise is on the lookout for a scoring talent who can play at either forward position, ESPN's Tim Bontemps reports.

However, Ainge says he isn't keen on making a move unless it would really move the needle toward title contention.

"If there's players we can get that can put us over the top and keep us under the hard cap, we'll do a deal that falls into that category," Ainge told ESPN. "But we're not going to do it for a band-aid or somebody that maybe, maybe, will help us a game or two."

The power forward position appears to be a particular area of weakness in Boston's frontcourt. Since Gordon Hayward's offseason departure, the Celtics have typically started Daniel Theis and Tristan Thompson together in the frontcourt despite both having predominantly played center throughout their respective careers.

The NBA-record $28.5-million trade exception created when Hayward left for the Charlotte Hornets via sign-and-trade provides the extra wiggle room to make a sizeable splash if an impact trade target catches Ainge's eye.

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Report: Rival execs think Celtics hope to trade for scoring forward
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