Danny Ainge is one of the most manipulative General Managers in sports, but in 2017 he has been nothing but smoke and mirrors.
In 2007 the Celtics traded for 2004 MVP, Kevin Garnett in the single largest trade for one player in NBA history. He was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair. Along with Boston’s 2009 first-round draft pick (top three protected). Also in the 2007 NBA draft, the Seattle SuperSonics traded seven-time All-Star Ray Allen along with the draft rights to the 35th pick Glen Davis to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and the draft rights to the 5th pick Jeff Green.
These aggressive moves in one summer gave Boston a championship in 2008. Then after their two best players were out of their prime they were traded to the Nets, which was one of the most idiotic trades in NBA history. The Brooklyn Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and three first round draft picks (2014, 2016 and 2018), as well as the right to swap first round picks in 2017. That trade gave the Nets a second round gentleman’s sweep from Lebron James and the Miami Heat in 2014, and that gave the Celtics the most leverage in the NBA.
With these very juicy draft picks you would think that Ainge would have made a blockbuster trade by now. Especially since the best two players on the 2016 roster were not drafted by him. Ever since the Brooklyn trade went down, Boston has been on the top of the list of trade rumors for many All-Star players such as Blake Griffin, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis.
After looking at these bizarre trades that are transpiring like the Paul George and the Jimmy Butler trade, I wonder why did all of those trade talks fall through when Boston has much more to offer. Is it the envy of Pacers GM, Kevin Pritchard not wanting to send George to a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference? Or is it the overrated value of one-and-done talent out of college? The point is Danny Ainge has yet to make any moves that could shake up Lebron James and the Cavaliers.
BOSTON’S CURRENT ROSTER
The only offseason move that is noteworthy for Boston is signing Gordon Hayward. Which they had to let Kelly Olynyk (who Avg 9/game) walk and trade Avery Bradley (who Avg 16/game) to the Pistons who was their best two-way player. Now their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas will be even more defensively exposed from what he already was. He is such a poor defender that, Bradley would guard the best perimeter player. So offensively it wasn’t a big improvement and defensively it has been a downgrade since Hayward decided to join Boston.
Don’t get me wrong, Ainge still has the leverage and could possibly make that trade that could possibly challenge Cleveland. However, they missed out on building a super team this summer with the All-Stars that were on the market. Even if they decide to hold all of the draft picks from now to 2019, that still won’t be enough to defeat Golden State let alone Cleveland (assuming that Lebron re-signs with the in 2018).
Drafting All-Star level talent is not Danny Ainge’s specialty either. The last player that was drafted by the Celtics to play in the All-Star game was Paul Pierce who was drafted in 1998. There is still hope for the 3rd overall draft pick, Jayson Tatum who could potentially become an All-Star forward in this league. Maybe Ainge and the Celtics will make moves in the near future to bring more competition in the East. If not then we will just be seeing more of this.