HoopsHype Danny Ainge rumors


February 17, 2015 Updates

One player he wishes he could have helped was Robert Swift, a dynamic 7-foot-1 center from Bakersfield, Calif., who in 2004 was picked No. 12 in the first round by Seattle. "I really liked that kid,'' Ainge says. "I often wonder, I still believe to this day, no one will be able to convince me that Robert Swift wasn't going to be a dynamic NBA player. And in a different environment in a different setting, if he stays healthy ...'' Swift played 97 NBA games in four seasons before his release by Oklahoma City in 2009. Last year, following his arrest on a gun charge, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer summed up Swift's story in a way that made Ainge's heart sink: King County prosecutors describe Swift, 28, as a heavily armed heroin addict who admitted to helping his drug dealer-turned-roommate collect a drug debt. "It's a sad story,'' Ainge says. "We will never know ...'' NBA.com

The NBA trade deadline is coming up Thursday afternoon, and Ainge is pursuing multiple deals, big and small. This is one of his favorite times of the year. His rivals throughout the league can sense it. "He's probably the best GM in the game,'' says Daryl Morey, who became GM of the Houston Rockets after working with Ainge at the Celtics. "Look at the roster in '03 when Danny took over, and his ability to win a title five years later -- that transformation is unheard of, I've never seen anything like it. Now you look at the way he's set up the Celtics today, and it's the best I've seen someone go from losing a core to creating lots of future picks and flexibility to turn it around quickly. People don't see it yet because it hasn't turned the corner, but they will see it.'' NBA.com

Analytics. "He was the first GM in basketball to use it for sure,'' says Morey, who worked for both the front office and the business side of the Celtics after helping Grousbeck's ownership group define the financial value of the team. Morey was soon joined by Mike Zarren, a lawyer and Freakonomics-styled data analyst who has risen to become Ainge's assistant GM. "As a former player, you just don't see this -- he is so forward thinking,'' Morey says of Ainge. "Immediately saw the value in the analysis we were doing, and he was able to integrate it into his decision making. He obviously had his own opinions on players. Myself and Mike were working on a draft model, and when the analysis confirmed what Danny believed, it allowed him to be more confident in what he believed in; and when it didn't, he used it to ask more questions -- am I missing something? He went on to quickly understand how to use it.'' NBA.com

February 13, 2015 Updates

The player movement has died down in the last month since that incredibly active period, but with the Feb. 19 trade deadline looming, business may pick up again in the next week. On Wednesday morning, Ainge spoke with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub to discuss the team's hopes leading up to deadline day. "We’re opportunistic," Ainge said about the possibility of more trades. "There’s a lot of different things that can happen. I don’t anticipate, because right now we don’t have anything imminent, but you never know what can happen at the trade deadline." Boston Globe

Those kind of minor deals are not the only sort the Celtics are interested in, as they have stockpiled enough assets, via draft picks and trade exceptions, to do much more. “We’re ready," Ainge said of next week. "We have a lot of bullets in our arsenal right now. We have a lot of assets we can move for a lot of different things and go in a lot of different directions at this point. This is one of those ‘turning points.’" Boston Globe

February 12, 2015 Updates
February 11, 2015 Updates

The NBA trade deadline is just over a week away, so Rich asked Ainge what he hopes to accomplish over that time. “I don’t know. We’re opportunistic. There’s a lot of different things that can happen. I don’t anticipate, because right now we don’t have anything imminent. But you never know what happens at the trade deadline. But we’re ready, we have a lot of bullets in our arsenal right now. We have a lot of assets that we can move for lots of different things and go in a lot of different directions at this point,” Ainge told T&R. CBS Local

In a recent TNT game covering the Rockets, studio analyst Charles Barkley ripped Houston general manager Daryl Morey and called him “one of those idiots who believes in analytics.” After sharing some of his fondest memories of Sir Charles, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge talked about the importance of stats with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich for his weekly interview. “We put a lot into analytics. We have a great analytics staff and I’m very excited about things that we’re working on,” Ainge told T&R. “We feel like we’re out ahead of the NBA in analytics, but I don’t think anything has been perfected. There’s no magic formulas. You can’t just use analytics, but analytics can be of value.” CBS Local

January 31, 2015 Updates

So I asked him if he would like to see the Celtics in the playoffs this year? “That depends,” Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com. “I would love to see our team in the playoffs, but I don’t want to see us back into the playoffs with a really bad record and not even have a fighting chance. If our team can keep getting better by developing, if we can make some deals at the trade deadline that put us in position to actually get into the playoffs and have a chance to win a playoff series, I think that would be a lot of fun. CSNNE.com

January 27, 2015 Updates

Ainge is in his 12th season as president of basketball operations, and the summer before last he commenced a major roster reconstruction with the trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets. The frequency of transactions has accelerated in recent weeks as the Celts gather draft picks and shed salary. “I feel like I love what we’re doing,” Ainge told the Herald. “I think that we have a big task and a real challenge ahead of us, and I love the challenge. I’m ready for the long haul, and we’re prepared to do it as quickly as we can. But I’m also ready to do it the long way of developing players into a good team. From my standpoint, I’m enjoying it. “I love what I do. I love the people I work with, and I think we just all take it a year at a time. But right now I’m looking at it as a phase. I plan on being here for a while, and I plan on Brad (Stevens) being our coach for a while, and I plan on us turning this thing around.” Boston Herald

January 22, 2015 Updates

In his 13th season as Boston’s chief executive, Ainge says he is enjoying the job “more than ever.” “I like the challenge,” he says. “I have a great deal of respect for the other 29 teams in the league. The teams are getting better managed every year. Everybody’s getting a little smarter with their assets. The draft is a challenge. Free agency is a challenge. The competition is great.” Portland Tribune

January 21, 2015 Updates

Boston has been calling around the league over the last week, reminding GMs that Philly isn’t the only team with salary space to rent out as we approach the February 19 trade deadline. Grantland

January 19, 2015 Updates

Ainge has made four deals since Jan. 9, and that’s after trading Rajon Rondo. Rivers, who left because he didn’t want to go through a rebuilding process, believes this bigger dig is the correct path. “It takes time. It’s hard,” he says. “I’ve been through it with Danny. It’s not a one- or two-year build. I knew that when they decided to do it, and Danny did, too. But I think it’s a city that can handle it, because they’ve done it before and people there know the game. You do have to get a little lucky, but, man, they have so many picks. I think they’ve done a masterful job with the way they’re doing it. Danny has put himself into a position to take the risk he wants to take at some point — to gather enough assets to go get that one guy that then gets the second guy that then gets the third guy. Eventually Danny’s going to get that one piece and then that second piece. But they’re set up to do it. Look at all the rebuilding teams, the Celtics are so far ahead of the game than everyone else, in my opinion, from what they’ve done.” Boston Herald

“Where I think I’ve grown already in my own job is that, if I don’t think the right ones are there, I’m moving them,” says Doc, who acquired son Austin in a deal with the Celtics on Friday. “I’m not scared to say I made a mistake. That, if Danny taught me anything, would be No. 1. You can’t do a job being scared to lose your job. If you make a great decision, great. If you make a poor decision, fine ­— now fix it. That’s my attitude. Danny, I thought, had such an advantage over a lot of the other GMs because guys wouldn’t change something if they made a mistake. They didn’t want to look bad. I really believe that’s part of Danny’s genius. And he taught me that you get what you want, or you don’t do the deal.” Boston Herald

January 15, 2015 Updates
January 12, 2015 Updates

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