Celtics president of basketball ops Danny Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich for his weekly call on Thursday. One of the big topics was trades – specifically, the notion that Ainge won’t make a trade unless he can “bury” the other team. That’s what one West GM reportedly told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Ainge pushed back hard on that idea, instead describing his dealings as the product of a mutual interest between two teams. And typically, the other GM knows what he’s doing too. So Ainge dismissed the idea that he could dupe another NBA GM into making a bad deal.
“I think that’s ridiculous,” Ainge said. “I have conversations regularly, daily, with [opposing GMs]. It’s not about winning a deal, it’s about finding a partner that needs and wants what we have, and us finding and wanting what [they] have. I’m not trying to bury anybody in a deal. I’m trying to make our team better.
“Listen, I’ve heard people say that I overvalue my players. I think that’s the case with everybody. I really like my guys. Even when they’re not playing well, I like the players. I’m around them every day. I enjoy them. I enjoy them as people. I want to see them succeed. I’m trying to help them and surround them with people that can help them succeed. So I don’t know if I overvalue them, but I do like them. If anything, maybe I’m guilty of liking my people too much as people and knowing the fit and the culture that is created in the organization. But I don’t think that I’m trying to pull a fast one on other organizations or other people that I’m dealing with. They know what we have and they like them or they don’t.”