With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, the rumors are flying about the Celtics plans. From point guards to centers, expiring contracts to three-year deals, the C’s have been linked just about everywhere.
On Thursday morning, Celtics GM Danny Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich, where he set the record straight on the rumor mill, before offering some first-hand insight into his approach for the March 25 deadline.
“I think everybody – you guys are living in a world where other teams and agents are filling people’s heads up with rumors about what’s happening, and they’re being used,” Ainge said. “I live in a different world than the world of Twitter where it’s just ‘the Celtics and the Lakers and the Miami Heat and the Pacers are all trying to get player X’ and it’s not even true. Those things just exist to – those are the things that make fans’ heads explode that are not even real.”
So what’s the real, inside scoop on the Celtics’ mindset two weeks out from the trade deadline?
“We will do a deal if we think our team is going to be better, but we’re not going to do a deal that is too expensive and a Band-Aid for the here and now, or will jeopardize anything to do with our young core at this moment,” according to Ainge. “I wouldn’t eliminate the possibility of doing a deal for this year as long as I didn’t have to jeopardize the people that I can’t jeopardize.”
“I’m not eliminating those other possibilities,” Ainge continued, “but some of the names that are mentioned out there and the price to get them and the likelihood of re-signing them make it silly to do any sort of trade just for the next two months.”
Part of Ainge’s hesitation to get involved in the rental market is the landscape of this summer’s free agency.
“The free agent money this year is huge. There may be more free agent money than there’s been in maybe ever. And the free agent list – most of the significant players have signed contract extensions leading into this summer,” he explained. “So the free agent list is not hugely great or franchise changing. Which means a lot of players that are on the free agent list – and there’s a lot of money out there, there’s more money than there are quality players. And so there’s probably going to be a lot of money spent and overspent or on a lot of free agents. And so that makes it less likely to be able to re-sign players at a fair value for them as as players leading into next summer.”
Still, Ainge told T&R that the phones are “busy as ever” with the trade deadline just 14 days away. Will that turn into a deal? Or will this be another stand pat year for the Celtics?
You can hear the full conversation between Danny Ainge and Toucher & Rich below:
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.