Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday morning, the day after the NBA trade deadline came and went without Boston making a deal. The team became the subject of criticism from some segments of media and fans for their lack of action, especially considering the large number of deals that were made around the league on Thursday.
At the end of the day, Ainge didn’t want to make a deal just for the sake of it. He stood pat because no potential trade was strong enough for the Celtics to pull the trigger.
“It’s very simple, there were no good deals to be made,” said Ainge. “You have to find a partner when you’re making a deal. You cant just say ‘I need to make this deal and do whatever it possibly takes to make it.’ That’s not how it works.
“We’ve made many trades over the years. We’re not afraid to make trades. We were very busy over the last couple of weeks communicating with teams in the NBA and there was never really a deal that we thought was a good deal.”
Ainge said the Celtics negotiated with 8-10 teams ahead of the deadline and simply couldn’t find a match. He continued that the team “unanimously agreed” not to make a deal, as opposed to other seasons that might have had more “bickering.” He believes part of the issue is that teams often have to get third and fourth teams involved, and that’s what the NBA saw in a lot of deals that did get made.
“Multiple-team conversations are not impossible and we’ve done it in the past, but it’s challenging to satisfy everyone in those deals,” he said.
Ainge added that he didn’t want to give up too much to acquire “a rental player who’s going to be our ninth man,” ostensibly referring to Wizards forward Davis Bertans. The Celtics reportedly pursued Bertans at the deadline but decided to hold on to their assets as Washington held firm. He confirmed that the C’s will watch the buyout market in case they find someone who can help the team.
Apparently, there were enough angry takes on the radio and internet on Thursday that it needed to be asked … does Ainge believe the Celtics as currently constituted can win the NBA championship this season?
“Yes, I do think that we can, and I think a lot of things have to go our way, but I think this team has surpassed my expectations. And that’s why I never give prognostications before the season,” said Ainge. “I think the fact that right now we’re sitting at the No. 3 defense in the NBA 50 games into the season is amazing to me.
“We haven’t even been healthy … so I’m optimistic about this group of guys.”
The full interview will be available online later on Friday morning.
Listen to the full interview with Danny Ainge below:
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