Danny Ainge is once again in hot water after a very quiet, and unproductive, trade deadline.
While the rumors about getting cornerstone players like Paul George, Jimmy Butler and even Andre Drummond were loud in the days leading up to the deadline, the Celtics failed once again to make the kind of splash that could turn the team into title contenders. And while the fanbase has long sought a player to finally pair up with new superstar Isaiah Thomas, looks like the Celtics will have to look during the offseason.
This is the best case scenario for the Celtics.
No, I am not crazy, I am merely saying this because of the fact that it’s true for a multitude of reasons. Danny Ainge may have just saved this franchise due to the fact that he didn’t rush into anything that could have cost this team their future. As it stands right now, the Celtics are still poised to pick first in the 2017 NBA Draft, where there will be a number of players that could potentially elevate the Celtics into Contenders for many years to come. So here’s where I break it all down:
1. The Paul George conundrum
Paul George was the perfect fit for the Celtics when it came to playing style and skill set.
As I mentioned in my previous article, Paul George is the one guy that I think could have changed this Celtics team into legitimate contenders against the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And while a deal for a George would likely cost Ainge one, if not two, of his prized Brooklyn picks, it would unquestionably have to worry the rest of the league. With Isaiah Thomas dominating night in and night out, George would bring a secondary scoring option at any point in the game who could take over on both sides of the floor, essentially eliminating any chance of a double team on the Celtics’ leading scorer.
However, the Pacers were never realistically looking to move George, asking for incredibly unrealistic trade packages for the athletic forward.
I think we can all agree it was the correct decision to not go for George if it meant giving all that up.
2. Danny Ainge truly understands the value of this upcoming 2017 pick
Honestly, it seemed like half the league was under the impression that these Brooklyn picks needed to be included in whatever trade the Celtics were to be involved in, which is simply ridiculous. Ainge understands that he is holding the key to potentially drafting the next big thing in the NBA, and he won’t give it up if there isn’t major upside involved. How terrifying would it be to have two top 5 scorers in the NBA once Fultz learns the ropes of the league?
3. We don’t even know what this Celtics team could be
As it stands right now, the Celtics will enter the second half of the season with a 37-20 record, better than anyone predicted at the beginning of the year. And while it may seem crazy, standing pat at the deadline might have been the best thing to do because that way Boston can look for potential free agents, such as Gordon Hayward and the like, during the offseason, while really finding themselves during this year’s playoffs. The Celtics could also still look to make moves once they know what position they will select in during the draft, and should they pick first overall, you can bet Danny Ainge will be busy to the point of exhaustion.
4. The next 2 years belong to the Warriors
Although a Paul George trade would likely put the Celtics on track with the Cavaliers, there is little evidence to support it would put them on the same level as the expected champion Golden State Warriors. While keeping most of their core intact from a record setting regular season last year, the Warriors retooled with the addition of the best scorer in the league in Kevin Durant. Would the Celtics have enough to truly compete with the Warriors in a seven game series? As much as I hate to say it, my guess would have to be no, even with the addition of George.
Relax Celtics nation. Breathe.
The Deadline has passed, and there were no moves to be made. And that’s okay, because the Celtics are still the one team that all other teams covet. They are playing out of their minds, they have a potential league leader in scoring, an All-Star coach, and the chance to draft TWO future cornerstone players. Not to mention this doesn’t put them out of the running for a title in the very near future.
How is this a bad thing?