Sam Hauser of the Boston Celtics.

GettySam Hauser of the Boston Celtics.

As things stand, the Boston Celtics are the best team in the NBA and should be eyeing a championship by the end of the season. They currently hold the best record in the NBA at 33-12. However, just because they’re great doesn’t mean they can’t be better.

With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Celtics should be exploring any and all options that could help them improve their title chances. According to NBA cap expert Keith Smith on Heavy Sports’ Postin’ Up podcast, a player they could potentially look to target is Indiana Pacers wing Chris Duarte.

“Chris Duarte, like, I think, is a guy who could make some sense,” Smith said. “Indiana seems willing to move on him. If you could get him at a reasonable cost, go get a guy like that. A guy who can play, you know, 15-20 minutes a night in the regular season. You can move on because, just, Sam Hauser is starting not to cut it right now. So I think you just gotta go there. But that’s it. You don’t need much. I mean, such is life at the top of the league.”

As noted by Smith, Hauser has struggled a bit in recent weeks. After a hot start to the season, he hasn’t been knocking down shots at the same rate that he once was. Over the course of Hauser’s last 10 games, he’s been averaging 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game on 36.4% shooting from the field and 29.2% shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

Meanwhile, Duarte has also been struggling this season, but he’d be another body for the Celtics to throw out there at the wing position. He’s appeared in 23 of the team’s 45 games this year and is playing 17.3 minutes per contest. Duarte is averaging 7.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game on 32.9% shooting from the floor and 27.9% shooting from distance.


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