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I Believe Danny Ainge, I Dunno Why But I Do

Boston Celtics Introduce Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward

The one thing you can bank on whenever the Celtics lose a game is people will go on Twitter and demand Trader Danny live up to his name and pull the trigger on something, sending players out of town. You don’t usually get an answer as to who those people want to trade for, but it’s just par for the course whenever the Celtics struggle. If the internet and sports talk radio had their way, the only people who would still be on the roster now from Opening  Night would be Kyrie and Marcus Morris. It happens every year, we’ve been hearing this since before a single Nets pick was actually selected, and it won’t change as long as this team doesn’t play perfect basketball. So this morning when Danny was asked about this idea with the trade deadline about a month away, here is what he said

“We’re always looking to upgrade our team if those opportunities present themselves. But I think that’s going to be tough,” Ainge said Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.”

“As far as trading players, I don’t really see much out there. We have a lot of good ones. It’s hard to get better players than we have.”

Now the first rule of rooting for a team run by Danny Ainge is you can never fully believe anything he says. You expect him to go on the radio and say “you know what, you’re right, players X, Y, and Z are on the block and we’re looking to move them”? Of course not. If I know my best friend Danny like I think I do, he’s already working the phones, checking in, and mapping out different scenarios that our mere mortal brains aren’t even thinking of. If you think he’ll hold back for any reason on a deal that could make his team better, well you haven’t been paying attention to his tenure as GM. He has huge balls and he’s not afraid to use them.

But, when it comes to how he’s constructed this team, timing is everything. The whole world knows Anthony Davis is most likely going to be up for grabs this summer, and considering Ainge has had a hard on for AD for like 7 years, if you think he’s going to give up any potential asset in February that could be used this summer, you’re high. I know people want Jaylen traded, I know people want Terry traded, but it just isn’t smart basketball business and honestly I can’t imagine there is anything out there that makes this team better by moving those guys now. He’s waited this entire rebuild for a shot at AD, he’s not going to blow his load in February.

At the same time, there is room for smaller improvements. Personally, I think he’s more active in the buyout market than the trade market as eventually he should have Jabari Bird’s roster spot to deal with. Take a look at what the big man market is, maybe there’s a shooter that finds himself on the market that you can add for depth. It’s obvious this roster isn’t perfect right now, but looking at Ainge’s history, his big time trades don’t really happen in the middle of the season. It’s almost as if he learned his lesson from the Perk trade. In his history, Ainge hasn’t made a major move at the deadline involving key pieces since that Perk trade. Obviously the Isaiah deal came at the deadline, but he gave up only Marcus Thornton and a late 1st round pick. That wasn’t exactly a heavy price tag.  He did what he had to do in order to rebuild like trading Rondo and shit in December, but since we’ve gotten to this point of the rebuild, he’s been pretty quiet this time of year. That Isaiah trade was the last February deadline deal trade he’s made since 2015, so if you think he’s going to suddenly move legit piece now, I dunno what to tell you.

So who are some names we could see in that buyout market? Guys like Enes Kanter maybe sine he’s unhappy in NY, Jabari Parker, Robin Lopez, JR Smith, shit like that. Those don’t really excite me but there’s always going to be guys we aren’t even thinking about right now that could potentially be a fit. I know it feels weird to take Danny at his word when he says he’s not looking to make a trade because normally that means he definitely IS looking to make a move, but as mentioned above this year is different. By now you know to blindly trust this man and his decision making, and if he tells me there’s nothing out there right now then I trust there really is nothing out there right now.

I now fully expect a Woj/Shams bomb announcing crazy, but that’s pretty much every day when trying to figure out the moves of Trader Danny.