Boston Celtics

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 11: General manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics attends a game between the Celtics and the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Celtics defeated the Grizzlies 113-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

The Boston Celtics last played just 47 days ago. If the NBA successfully launches their season on their current timeline, they’ll play their first game of a 72-game 2020-21 season in just 40 days.

It’s a truly wild offseason, and between wild seasons. And for Danny Ainge and the rest of scrambling front offices throughout the NBA, this is just the beginning of a downright turbulent schedule.

With an amended CBA on the books, the 2020 NBA Draft will be held on Nov. 18. That’s two days after teams will finally be allowed to make trades, and with free agency set to begin on Nov. 20 ahead of a Dec. 1 start date for training camp.

“We’re ready for it to begin,” Ainge said of the upcoming offseason. “We’re ready for the draft. We’re still trying to make some deals before the draft to improve our team. We have our list of players we will try to pursue in free agency.”

Oh, do they have deals.

Already considered to be ‘aggressive’ in terms of their desire to trade up in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft, Thursday came with word that the Celtics are interested in the Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday and have discussed the framework of a Gordon Hayward trade. And with the 30-year-old Hayward reportedly looking at the ‘Al Horford plan’ as a potential play as he enters the final year of his max contract — and with Hayward not having to make a decision on opting in or out of his current deal until after the draft — you can understand the C’s desire to not get stranded on the highway here.

It’s easy to connect the dots to lead Hayward back to his hometown, too, especially with word that the Pacers are interested. Factor in Indiana star Victor Oladipo’s desire to leave (as well as the uncertainty surrounding center Myles Turner) and drumming up a deal to put Hayward in Indianapolis full-time isn’t all that difficult.

As for the draft, Ainge was honest about the Celtics’ situation as a team with three first-round picks and a second: It’s not ideal. The Celtics simply aren’t built to add four rookies to next year’s team, and Ainge views this as a good-not-great draft. Ainge was quick to point out that every draft has a Semi Ojeleye or a Grant Williams, but the Celtics already have two of those.

It’s no secret that the Celtics are absolutely looking at unloading these picks for something that helps them right now.

“I think we always look — all the way up until we make the pick — at all the [trade] possibilities that exist,” Ainge said. “We talk to every team in the draft and we come up with lots of different ideas of trades we want to make. But you have to do good deals. I say that all the time. It’s not a matter of just about making deals.”

Ainge has also categorized the Celtics’ needs, in the draft or veteran market, as obvious ones: Shooting, size, and athleticism.

There’s enough to develop a clear path to upgrading the Celtics.

But at the same time, the Celtics know it wouldn’t take much for it to completely evaporate before their very eyes.

“As you know, we don’t know who everyone is going to draft, we don’t know who else is interested in the same free agents,” Ainge noted. “And depending on what deals we’re able to do or not will depend on the amount of money we can offer free agents.

“There’s a lot of unknown factors.”

It’s enough to make a rookie exec sweat. But Ainge believes he has the recipe to handle it at a championship-producing level.

“Draft day, the 19th, and 20th are going to be crazy,” Ainge admitted. “We’ll be resting up and be ready for that battle.”

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.