Success Could Make Danny Ainge’s Off-Season Tricky


Is Danny Ainge going to produce the right measures for the Boston Celtics? I know, this summer coming up can prove this article silly, but that is completely in the hands of Ainge, who couldn’t possibly screw up the litany of top 40 picks and tradeable and desirable players on this roster. Having every player on a team friendly contract creates a lot of plausible outcomes for whether or not a man is deemed fitting for the ride to banner 18 or not. Big name free agents seem to be the rout most of Celtic nation would like to take. With Durant, Horford, Whiteside all becoming free agents, the Boston Celtics could be the team to give the most green. Those guys are only to name a few, there are a lot of choices for Danny to make. Not to mention the men already on his team.

 Any scenario that predicts these overachieving bunch of misfits will reach anywhere past the second round is considered far-fetched. Let’s say for argument’s sake this band of proud basketball players decide to surprise us and make it to the conference finals as the Atlanta Hawks did last year. The Hawk’s offseason was nothing to be remembered, although Kent Bazemore was a good pick up but he is also part of this 2016 free agency frenzy. They actually let DeMarre Carroll sign somewhere else, confident his services were not valuable enough to match the Raptors offer. Are the Hawks winning a championship this year? No.

As a Celtic green teamer, I want the impossible to happen. The success the team in place has during the postseason directly affects how big of a splash Danny can make in the off-season.  The conference finals are depicted as a success for this group, in fact, the second round would be considered an outstanding season. Could it be possible that the main rotational players in place are actually enough firepower to propel them to some version of a Finals.

This thinking then, now brings the question, how much of this is the coach coaching at such a high level, he’s raising the abilities and talents, of these work in project players. Or, are the players themselves good enough to bring hope and expectation each year for championships. All of the players collected on the bench are all improving and with plenty of time to do so. The coach as well is gaining more knowledge on how to win games in the NBA. Is it only a matter of time until this team progresses naturally into a Finals caliber team. Moving some chess pieces here and there may be all this team needs to grow into a major threat to the Western conference representative.

Is the recipe already instilled good enough for championships? I believe so. I feel Coach has a firm grasp on winning basketball games and harnessing the best his squad has to offer. His after time-out plays and half court sets are second to none. We all know, however, that it is the athlete that executes and wins the competitions. Danny Ainge has way too many options, not all of which would be the most wise. One option was, and still is, is the team already concocted well enough to compete for a ring with the core in place. If a successful outcome in the playoffs comes to fruition, trader Danny’s job suddenly is altered into a make or break off-season with the fluctuation of individuals he chooses to wear green.

Danny Ainge
Mar 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens shots instructions during the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports /

I’m almost concerned Ainge may try to do too much, disregarding chemistry for a big splash. Learn from the Cleveland Cavaliers, they went out and got the home run guy in Kevin Love, with the certainty of it working well. Then, in the same season it turns out Tristan Thompson was more what they needed and he was already on their team. 

Multiple reports of Danny Ainge trying for the home run at the trade deadline with reports of Jimmy Butler, Jahlil Okafor and Al Horford involved in trade attempts. Fine players would undoubtedly bring this team over the top. However, I’m not so sure. The Warriors have had the same players in place for a long time, all growing into superstars together, surrounded by great talent to begin with. We can call what Danny did during the trade deadline patience and trust in the players, but maybe the Celtics got lucky for once in the oddest way possible. Other teams not pulling the trigger could have been a blessing, though that remains to be seen. A philosophy conjured by Brad Stevens seems to match that of the most fruitful franchises and his group has bought in. 

Next: How Important Is Home Court Advantage?

Danny’s next year and a half will be a very crucial time for his Celtics as well as his job. As it turns out just yearning for the best does not always workout. All of these ideas are based on whether or not this squad puts together a deep run in the playoffs, but if they do, Danny’s job becomes frightening. There is almost too much to calculate and over complicating things is something we are all accustomed too.