(Boston Globe) - “There’s a lot of really good players in the NBA, so there’s always players that you can potentially get,” Ainge said. “But I don’t go into a trade deadline with any more stress or pressure that I have to do something to get better. I don’t see it like that. If a deal is there that we like, we do it. If there’s no deals that we like, we don’t do it.”
Ainge made it clear he’s not interested in trading a core of his future — let’s say Marcus Smart or one of his young players — in a package for a player on an expiring contract who will play in Boston roughly two months.
“I don’t think I’m looking at any short-term urgency to trade away all my young assets to get some veteran player,” he said. “But we’re looking. We’ll have conversations before trade deadline like we do every year.
“We like our players. I like all the guys on our team right now. We’re excited about them and each one of them have a bright future. But sometimes you tweak your roster for a better fit, better balance. But at the same time you can also mess your roster up by making changes, too, because these guys get along and play hard together and they like each other and they know our system.
“Change for the sake of change is not what I’m looking for. Change for the sake of progress is what we’re always looking for.”
Ah yes, our favorite time of year. You know what I'm talking about, the calendar flips to a new year and we start hearing rumor after rumor about the Celtics being attached to every potential player who could be traded. We have fans going nuts on the internet finding ways to trade major rotation players for a big name because as long as the ESPN trade machine accepts it that means the Celts should pull the trigger. It's a time where every single year we get worked up by what Ainge might do, only for him to do nothing. Wash, rinse, repeat. So this time around I'm sure you've heard about how they need to trade for a big man. A player who will get them over the top aka a All Star caliber big. As I'm also sure you know, it's going to take a rotation player to do such a thing. Whether you think that's a good idea or not we can debate in another blog. For the sake of this blog, it's time to do what we do best and read between the lines when Danny Ainge speaks.
I want to start with the first bolded sentence. Not looking to trade away all my young asserts to get some veteran player. Whether you think this team needs a big or bench scoring, if the idea is to move some young assets, given their salaries it's going to have to be multiple guys. I find it hard to believe he's going to ship Romeo out before we even get to see what he can do, and if you're talking about a potential return for the rest of the young guys, would that even matter? You want to take one and pair it with some picks for a low salaried vet? OK I could listen to that depending who it is. But it sure sounds like anyone hoping to just exchange a bunch of these young players/assets for some veteran player is going to be disappointed.
Then there's the next bolded sentence. This is most important in my eyes. The one thing we haven't seen Ainge do is cave to the internet or talk radio and make a deal just to make one. Unless there is a true game changing trade out there, I don't know how you could be against that approach. Whether it's Steven Adams or Andre Drummond for example I don't think either of those guys suddenly make you the favorites and certainly don't guarantee you stop Giannis or whatever, so why pay the price it takes to pull off that move? Remember, this team is still 26-11 and has one of the best net ratings and point differentials in the league. It's not like they are a struggling 5 seed like last year where you could definitely give him flack for not thinning out the roster.
It's also important to factor in history. Ainge hasn't really made a big time in season trade since the Isaiah deal. I don't think that's an accident. He's never been one to trade real assets for a rental, and based on what we know now there isn't a game changing player out there. That's why it's important to be rational this trade deadline. Just because you hear the Celts mentioned doesn't mean it's actually a possibility. They are literally mentioned in every trade every year and every year we get.....zero trades.
If I were you, I'd put down the trade machine and just keep refreshing Twitter to see who ends up getting bought out. That's the play that has much more of a history with Ainge. Guy loves buyout guys that never really do what you hope they would and I have no doubt that's probably where we are going to end up this year. Maybe it's a shooter, maybe it's a big, I'll take either if we're being honest. If forced to choose, get me a legit bench shooter over a big. No big you can get on the market will make all that much of a difference and I feel like bench scoring is more important come playoff time. They need someone they can plug in and give them buckets when the offense stalls. Time will tell who that person is.