It Happened, Ainge Made a Bad Trade
Yes Celtics fans, it happened. Danny Ainge finally made a bad trade. Well, that is if the trade even goes through — but as of now, the trade will happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the mindset of Ainge. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get younger and better at point guard? Still, I can’t help to feel like he messed up.
First of all, Ainge forfeited depth. By trading Jae Crowder, the Celtics now lose a valuable bench player. Crowder could have been used as another player to help slow down LeBron James. I thought that was part of the reason Ainge signed Gordon Hayward. Constantly throwing a combination of Crowder, Hayward, and Jaylen Brown at James would wear him down as a game progressed. Without Crowder, they lose a valuable piece to that puzzle.
Giving up Isaiah Thomas just didn’t sit right with me. This is a guy who put it all on the line for the team night in, and night out. He played just two days following the death of his sister and battled through a hip injury during the postseason. He was the biggest thing for the Celtics since Paul Pierce. Thomas is one of the major reasons Al Horford and Hayward decided to join the Celtics in the first place. Then you just ship him away? I get that it’s a business, but come on.
Now you have given Thomas an even bigger chip-on-his-shoulder. Sadly Celtics fans, he’s going to take it out on us. I am fully prepared for Thomas to drop 30 on us in the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals, while pointing at his wrist.
The part of the deal that hurt me the most was losing the pick. If you have read any of my recent 2018 draft articles, you may understand why I’m so upset. The 2018 Nets pick was the last gift from the Pierce-Garnett trade. Out of all of the drafts I have examined, there has never been one this talented. The only problem is that all of the talent sits within the top-5. By trading away the Brooklyn pick, the Celtics now lose their best chance to pick within that range. You may not feel it now, but in five years when Michael Porter Jr., Marvin Bagley III, and Luka Doncic are dominating the NBA, you will.
While all of this is difficult to digest, one fact hurts the worse. They traded all of this to the Cleveland Cavaliers. AKA, the Celtics arch-enemy. That’s essentially the same as if Boston were to trade Pierce to the Heat in 2010. It just doesn’t feel right. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if I actually vomited when I see Thomas wearing red and yellow.
Obviously, I’m not exactly thrilled with the trade, but I think it’s important to end with some positive thinking. The Celtics now have a top-5 point guard. They have a larger championship window — and if the Lakers pick lands in the top-5, Ainge will look like the smartest man in the room.
Danny Ainge, you’ve proven me wrong in the past — please do it again. In Danny, I trust.