Celtics president Danny Ainge is clearly a believer in “Trust The Process”.
The Celtics catch the 76ers at a good time on Thursday night, as big man Joel Embiid will not play for Philly due to the game being the second night of a back-to-back. He has been a dominant player whenever he takes the floor, but has also battled various injuries since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2014 and still faces playing time restrictions to this day.
Ainge told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday that while it’s unusual to see the Sixers continue to restrict Embiid as much as they do, he’s too good of a player to push him too hard before he’s ready for a full workload. Ainge obviously won’t complain about Embiid being rested against his own team, but he sees it as a smart move for the long-term health of him and the 76ers.
“It is unusual, but it’s an unusual circumstance,” said Ainge. “I mean, he’s played 31 games in three years. It’s an unusual circumstance. They know his body. They have a good medical staff there and they’re just being cautious with him. It sounds like it’s probably the right thing to do. Joel is a terrific player. He’s having a fantastic year. They’re doing all they can to be a playoff team and I think they’re probably doing the right thing for him.”
Ainge was also asked about the Celtics’ Disabled Player Exception that they can use to sign another player in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s injury. But he made it clear that the C’s are going to be patient and wait for the right move.
“We’re in conversations with people all the time. It’s a valuable thing,” said Ainge. “And yet it might not be used if we don’t need it. We’re not gonna just use it to use it. … Most likely, the better deals will be later in the season.”
On Hayward himself, Ainge still won’t put any kind of timetable on his return and said he’s still “a long way from getting on the court.”
Ainge also talked about Jayson Tatum’s development and the Celtics’ performance in Monday’s loss to the Pistons. Listen above for the full interview!