The Boston Celtics are at a crossroads.
Few NBA teams have been more frustrating than the C’s, who boast the game’s best under-25 duo in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown but find themselves at .500 through 40 games.
Injuries have played a role in Boston’s struggles, but three losses in four games at virtual full strength prove this team has bigger issues.
So, how to fix the problem? Should Danny Ainge use the Celtics’ $28.5 million traded player exception to acquire a veteran like Harrison Barnes and make a playoff push?
Or should Ainge save his fireworks for the offseason and wave the white flag in a loaded Eastern Conference led by the rolling Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers?
That depends on where the Celtics see themselves in the NBA hierarchy. Here’s our take on how the league stacks up entering the trade deadline.