“We spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort in, and I think my staff did a fantastic job, but we really didn’t get anything accomplished that we were looking to do, because there were no deals that we thought were good enough to do” – Danny Ainge
This year’s NBA trade deadline was one of the most quiet in recent years, in spite of what many had hoped. Players like Markieff Morris, Jeff Green and Channing Frye were involved in some of the most notable moves of the day. On the other hand, all big names such as Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Kevin Love, and even Ryan Anderson stayed put.
The Boston Celtics also stuck with their current roster, despite being involved in almost every trade rumor during the past weeks. The team’s front office decided that there wasn’t a good enough offer for them to take without having to give up too much. Taking into consideration Boston’s record and success so far this season, making a trade would only make sense if the price was right. Apparently some of the fans felt a little disappointed because the Celtics, now sitting at a 32-24 record, might be one great addition away from becoming real contenders for the NBA Finals.
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It is true that Boston needs at least one high caliber player to become a real contender, but that doesn’t have to happen right now. Especially in the case of Horford, or even Howard, the Celtics were hesitant to make a deal for guys that will become free agents in the summer. And that was, by no doubt, the right thing to do. Besides, this offseason is going to be quite favorable for Boston due to their pile of draft picks and the ton of cap space. It’s also certain that Boston will be one of the most attractive destinations for free agents this off-season.
President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge, was quite clear on how the team approached the trade deadline: “We spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort in, and I think my staff did a fantastic job, but we really didn’t get anything accomplished that we were looking to do, because there were no deals that we thought were good enough to do”
Ainge is doing a wonderful job rebuilding this team and has transformed the Celtics into one of the franchises with the brightest futures in the NBA. The Celtics’ brilliant head coach, Brad Stevens, has to deal with a young roster and gets the most out of it without a true superstar in it. The team is winning and playing very well, without having to give away any assets or to exceed the salary cap.
There is no doubt the team needs some improvement, but Ainge will have much more flexibility to make moves during the summer than he had in February. By adding two top free agents along with their draft picks, the Boston Celtics would become one of the top teams in the East. In the end, it’s quite clear that the Celtics’ front office wisely decided to stick to their plan for the future rather than making moves that would have improved the team for the remaining games of the season.