By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
If you’re hoping for yet another Celtics offseason filled with fireworks, you might want to hold off on lighting those fuses. Danny Ainge has hinted at only smaller moves to supplement Boston’s already-excellent roster heading into 2018-19.
The Celtics’ president of basketball ops held his exit interview with reporters on Monday after the C’s lost Game 7 in disappointing fashion to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was asked if the team’s surprisingly deep playoff run, which they achieved without arguably their two best players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, has changed the organization’s approach to building the roster for next season.
Based on Ainge’s comments, you can’t reasonably expect anything big to happen.
“At this time last year, I couldn’t have said we’d have 11 new players off a team that just won 53 games and won a playoff round. But you just don’t know what opportunities present themselves,” Ainge said. “But I like this group of guys. We’re not looking to make changes other than just small tweaks here and there to our roster. We really do like this core group of guys and we have all year.”
Ainge put emphasis on the word “looking” when talking about the changes he expects to make. So that could leave the door slightly ajar for him to make another major move. There’s always the possibility that he’s presented with a Godfather offer.
The big fish will undoubtedly continue to be a big topic on TV, and on the airwaves here at the Sports Hub and elsewhere – just not as realistic an idea as it was a year ago. Don’t hold your breath on Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Karl-Anthony Towns, or some other stud coming to Boston. Don’t expect another blockbuster trade. Because it sure sounds like Ainge will be content bringing back almost the same exact team, with just a few minor changes.
One of those “tweaks” could come with Marcus Smart’s spot in the lineup. The point guard wants to stay in Boston, but could price the C’s out with offers in restricted free agency.
Of all the decisions Ainge makes this offseason, that appears to be the biggest one. Because he has strongly suggested that the team’s biggest moves have already been made.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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