By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
As it turns out, one of the players the Celtics seemed to covet the most at the NBA trade deadline was too rich for Danny Ainge’s blood.
Wizards forward Davis Bertans is staying put, as the NBA trade deadline has come and gone without a deal with the Celtics – or any other team. Boston popped up in several reports leading up to the deadline as showing real interest in the sharpshooting forward from Latvia.
Unfortunately for Ainge, the Wizards ended up staying firm on an asking price of two first-round picks for Bertans, who is on track to become a free agent in the summer. And that’s ostensibly why Bertans didn’t go anywhere at all. (Update: According to Chris Mannix, the Celtics “made several strong offers” for Bertans, but obviously not as strong as two firsts. The Wizards are reportedly looking to keep Bertans long-term.)
Bertans is enjoying a career year with the Wizards in 2019-20. He’s scoring 15.0 points per game despite averaging just 29.3 minutes. He’s shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range, draining an average of 3.6 triples per contest. He’s also averaging 4.6 rebounds and is shooting 87.3 percent from the free-throw line.
Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports tweeted just before the NBA trade deadline passed that the Celtics were heavily engaged around the whole league in trade talks. They ended up making no moves at all, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. So it’s fair to wonder how badly Ainge really wanted to part with any of the picks and young players that Smith reported as available.
The Celtics hold first-round picks from the Grizzlies (top-6 protected) and Bucks (top-7 protected) in the 2020 NBA Draft, and those picks become unprotected in 2021 if they don’t trigger in 2020. They also have their own firsts for the next two drafts. Ainge apparently wasn’t willing to part with either of the two protected picks for a rental.
Ainge will have to hope that a viable bench scorer or rim protector wriggles free in the buyout market. According to Cavs insider Brian Windhorst, Tristan Thompson could become one of those targets.
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 email@example.com.