NBA trade deadline coming into view

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NBA trade deadline coming into view

CLEVELAND Now that the All-Star game is in the books, attention in the NBA will quickly shift to the next major event -- the NBA trading deadline.

There are a number of big-name players who might be on the move between now and the March 15 deadline. The most notable being Orlando's Dwight Howard, who has asked the Magic to trade him.

Orlando has been in talks with a number of teams since Howard's request, but a deal does not seem imminent. That's not surprising given that Howard was a huge draw for the home crowd at this weekend's All-Star Game.

Now that the All-Star Game is in the books and a number of teams -- including the Boston Celtics -- will be looking for ways to improve. And making a trade will certainly be an option.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has said many times that he's open to doing whatever he deems necessary to help bolster the Celtics' roster.

But with all the injuries Boston has had this year, it's difficult to gauge whether this team needs a major shake-up or time to get healthy.

If you talk with the current players and head coach Doc Rivers, it's banged up bodies -- not bad players -- that are at the root of the team's problems.

When asked what the Celtics need to do moving forward, Paul Pierce said, "One, us being more consistent, to get healthy. Those are the two main issues right now. Just being consistent with what we're doing and being healthy."

Still, that won't stop the questions from coming about potential trades, something that's difficult for any player to completely ignore.

"It's impossible not to (pay attention to trade rumors)," said Nets guard Deron Williams, who was traded from Utah last year shortly before the trading deadline. "There's no doubt that the media is coming to ask questions everyday. It's part of the game. It's part of our job. Trades happen."

Report: Celtics fail to make trade at deadline

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Report: Celtics fail to make trade at deadline

At first, hopes for a superstar coming to Boston were dashed . . . 

And then, hopes of anyone coming to Boston were dashed . . . 

Of course, is this is true, the breakdown of the George talks isn't such a bad thing:

More to come . . . 

Avery Bradley returns to practice, but injury status remains uncertain

Avery Bradley returns to practice, but injury status remains uncertain

Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor after missing the Celtics' past 16 games, but it's unclear if he'll travel to Toronto for Friday night's game.

Boston Celtics, Avery Bradley, Jaylen Brown, Brad Stevens, Toronto Raptors, A. Sherrod Blakely 
 
WALTHAM, Mass. – Avery Bradley was back on the practice floor briefly at the first gathering of the Celtics since the All-Star break.
 
Now returning to the floor in an actual game? That remains a bit up in the air.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday, adding that his status for the Friday night game at Toronto remains unclear.
 
“Avery practiced about a third of the practice today which was about what our medical staff determined was the appropriate progression,” Stevens said. “He [Bradley] told me afterwards he felt really good.”
 
As far as his availability for Friday, Stevens said he did not have an update and was not told by the medical staff whether Bradley would be traveling with the team to Toronto when they leave later this afternoon.
 
Bradley is dealing with a right Achilles' injury that has kept him sidelined for the past 16 games and 20 of the past 21.
 
The news is much better when it comes to the health of Jaylen Brown.
 
Brown missed the past three games, but said he was feeling better and would be traveling with the team to Toronto.
 
“I’m looking to play in Toronto,” he said.
 
The return of Brown can only help a Celtics team that’s looking to pick up where they left off prior to the break.
 
Boston’s ascension to the No. 2 spot in the East has been fueled by wins in 11 of the past 13 games.
 
Despite that success, Stevens knows all too well that a roster change of some sort could go down at any minute prior to today’s 3 p.m . trade deadline.
 
“When you’re in position where you’re playing at a pretty good level, you don’t anticipate much change,” Stevens said. “But certainly there could be small things; there may not be. At the end of the day, my job is to try and focus on the 15 guys that are here.”