Danny Ainge Rumors
However, former Boston Celtics forward and three-time NBA All-Star Antoine Walker says Danny Ainge and the Celtics made the right call in not pulling the trigger on a Harden trade. “I’m not a James Harden guy, and it’s not personal but you can’t win with that style,” Walker said during an appearance on the “All Things Covered” podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden. “He’s in a very unique situation with [Kevin] Durant and Kyrie [Irving], but it remains to be seen … I don’t think you can win with his style. Any time it takes a guy six, seven, eight dribbles to get to where he has to go, that’s a problem. It works today because it’s more of a pick-and-roll league, so he gets away with a lot of things now, but I would not leverage my future for James Harden.”
Chris Forsberg: Danny Ainge on @Toucherandrich said team should be close to 100 percent after All-Star break (which suggests Romeo is close to return). After chatter about his future, Ainge also noted he has no plans in mind for when he’ll move on from GM post. Said he’ll know when it’s time.
Repeat for every player picked since 2010, and this method allows us to approximate performance above or below average for every team in the past decade or so. (For players technically picked by one team but traded to another before playing a game, we included them for the second team; Kawhi Leonard is a Spurs selection, not a Pacers pick, for these purposes.) All together, Celtics draft picks since 2010 have had an expected value of 84.7 wins. And they’ve had an actual value of 83.3 wins—nearly a perfect match for expectation.
Still, league insiders don’t believe the Celtics can stand pat, and potentially waste a year of the primes of their two young building blocks who are playing at an elite level. “There comes a time where you have to do something to keep your stars placated and show that you’re trying, especially when they’re young and early in their primes,” the East executive said. “You have to make that commitment to them.”
That’s something Ainge has been reluctant to do in the past. The last time Boston acquired a player in an in-season trade was six years ago, when the team landed Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix. Only the San Antonio Spurs have a longer drought. “They’ll only do something,” the West executive said, “if they think they’re going to bury you.”
Despite developing two All-Stars in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Boston’s momentum has cratered. A series of free agent defections, misspent draft picks and cuts in payroll has resulted in a team that finds itself far off from the stated goal of hanging an 18th championship banner to the TD Garden rafters. Their weaknesses have been exposed, and they’re lacking in good options to fix them. So, with two games left before the All-Star Break and less than four weeks until the trade deadline, the Celtics are still searching for their identity. “I feel like our group is pretty together,” Celtics GM Danny Ainge told ESPN. “Guys are working hard still, and I feel like we don’t really know who this team is yet.”
The Celtics president of basketball operations spoke with Toucher and Rich on Thursday morning for his weekly radio interview and admitted that while Boston has come close to making deals already to improve the roster, he’s not sure if and when the team will pull the trigger on a trade next month. “I don’t have those answers and it’s probably not the time that it’s going to be answered,” Ainge said. “It’s rare that trades get done (not close) to the deadline. We’re talking and we’re trying to do some things. We’ve been close a couple times. Time will tell.”