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NBA Rumors: Boston Celtics Could Land Harrison Barnes Using Trade Exception

Credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Boston Celtics have been linked with several players in recent weeks and as the trade deadline gets bigger, you see this team involved in more and more rumors. Danny Ainge admitted this squad wasn't good enough to compete for a championship and they're reportedly ready to start making moves to improve their level.

Added to the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker, the C's could get a veteran to bolster their level for the rest of the season. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Boston is interested in Harrison Barnes and will try to use their trade exception to land the player without compromising any of their figures.

“The trade exception, of course, allows the Celtics to trade for players without sending out salaries to match,” wrote Amick. “Translation: Another quality piece could be added to the Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart core without losing any players who are currently part of the solution.

“Yet because Boston is hard-capped at $138 million, it would need to send out approximately $9 million in salary to take back the full amount of the exception in salary. Unless, of course, the Celtics go ahead and make this move for Sacramento small forward Harrison Barnes that so many front office folks around the league believe could be coming.”

The Celtics have a $28.5 million trade exception after signing and trading Gordon Hayward in the 2020 NBA offseason. They have been linked with several players in recent weeks and executives believe they are planning to do something big before the deadline. The Sacramento Kings have made it clear they have no plans of trading Barnes but we've seen crazier things in the league before.

Although they rank 4th in the East, the Celtics are far behind the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, and Milwaukee Bucks. They need to make some changes to face the rest of the season the best way and landing Barnes appears to be a very appealing option for them. He's averaging 16.7 points this season to go along with a career-high 6.1 rebounds for the struggling Kings.