The Boston Celtics were either going to be buyers or do nothing before Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline. As it turns out, they did nothing before 3 p.m. ET, meaning they’ll keep all their picks and leave the roster intact through the end of the season.
While I’m not thrilled, I’m also not about to jump on my soapbox and call for Danny Ainge’s head.
An initial reaction of disappointment is normal, considering all the big names that have been thrown around in trade rumors the last few weeks. That type of post-deadline emotion would also be the product of knowing how good the current group of Celtics have played, and the amount of assets that the organization currently has — whether it be players whose trade value will never be higher, or more draft picks than anyone knows what to do with. Let’s face it, Ainge could have got crazy on Thursday if he really wanted to.
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And I was all about doing something crazy. But it had to be a “good” crazy. Nobody’s happier than me that Ainge didn’t trade the 2016 Brooklyn Nets first-round draft pick in a three-team deal that would have landed Kevin Love.
I never really understood why the Cleveland Cavaliers would consider trading Love in the first place. Though, the fact that they were even thinking about it leads me to some serious questions about his personality. If he can’t find a way to fit in with a team that has a chance to win a championship, then he’s not worth that Brooklyn pick. I don’t care how you think he’s “being used” with the Cavs. I’ve seen them play many times this season. His numbers are down, but everything looks fine to me when Love is on the court for the Eastern Conference’s top team.
Blake Griffin’s name was also a popular trade topic before the deadline. Like Love, I never understood why. Seeing contending teams like the Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers think about trading players like Love and Griffin tells me more about those players than anything else. Wouldn’t you want to add something at the deadline to build around those guys and try to win now?
And with Griffin, you can show me his 23 points-per-game, his earth-shattering dunks, and his KIA commercials all you want. Every single time I watch him play he leaves me expecting more. As in, there’s something missing from his game that jumps off the screen to me.
So no, I wouldn’t have given up the Brooklyn pick for Griffin either. And the Clippers would have been asking for much more than just that Brooklyn pick in return, which isn’t my idea of “good” crazy.
My idea of “good” crazy would have been sending a King’s Ransom to the Sacramento Kings for DeMarcus Cousins, or convincing the Houston Rockets that they’d get a much better return if James Harden was made available instead of Dwight Howard.
Speaking of Howard, I’m smiling just thinking about the fact that he won’t be coming to Boston. But I do feel there was a three-team deal to be made with the Rockets and Atlanta Hawks, involving Al Horford, which starts to give me that disappointed feeling all over again.
I was never giving up the Brooklyn pick for Horford. But here’s a trade for you: Houston receives David Lee, Tiago Splitter, Jared Sullinger, and the Celtics’ 2016 first-round pick; Atlanta receives Dwight Howard and the Mavericks’ 2016 first-round pick (via Celtics); and Boston receives Al Horford.
The money works. It satisfies every team’s needs and reasonable demands under its respective circumstances. Why couldn’t something like this have gone down on Thursday?
Regardless, the Celtics are in a good spot right now. There’s still time to move some of these assets and become buyers this summer. So for that reason, I can’t call for Ainge’s head.
But don’t blame me for being disappointed.
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