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Report: Danny Ainge “Willing to Talk About the Nets’ Picks” in Trade Discussions

Danny Ainge

Jimmy Butler could be a Celtics’ target (USA Today – Dennis Wierzbick)

It’s trade deadline season which also means it’s Boston Celtics rumors season. As usual, the Celtics are rumored to be heavily involved in trade discussions ahead of the deadline.

This time, however, they may be willing to part ways with pieces they have not been willing to move in years past. According to Steven Bulpett of the Boston Herald, Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge has made it clear he is willing to trade the picks the team has accumulated from the Brooklyn Nets, for the right price:

“Danny’s let it be known that he’s willing to talk about the Nets’ picks,” said one league executive, referencing the first-rounders owed by Brooklyn this year (in a swap of first-round positions between the Celts and Nets) and next (unencumbered). “But you want one of those guys, you have to be willing to give up a star.”

And, apparently, a star who can’t break free this summer or after a year. Ainge has said he doesn’t want to take on any rentals, and opposing front offices are supporting that statement, with a caveat. The Celts will take a shot on a short-term player if the price is right, but that has not yet been the case. The C’s did investigate the Serge Ibaka situation, but word is they didn’t want to give up a lot when there is no guarantee they’d be willing to meet his price when he becomes a free agent this offseason.

Judging by this quote, this means that Ainge is willing to move the pick for someone of the Jimmy Butler or Paul George caliber. That shouldn’t be surprising of course. A team like the Celtics with a bevy of trade assets and a strong team with the potential to make a run, should be willing to give up draft picks for stars like Butler or George who could immediately push the team to nearly the top of the conference.

The issue here is that we’ve heard this story so many times before. Butler and George, among others, have been linked to the Celtics for years, now, with the Nets’ picks mentioned as the main pieces in such trade scenarios. Nothing has come of that and Danny Ainge has developed a reputation as an executive that mismanages expectations for his assets and leaks stories to the media in order to drum up value.

Until the Celtics finally cave and trade those picks to get some win now pieces, I’m not really buying into the rumors. And until they do, they’ll continue being a good team with no real shot at getting to the Finals.

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Report: Danny Ainge “Willing to Talk About the Nets’ Picks” in Trade Discussions


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