|Danny Ainge on OM&F: ‘We were close’ on a ‘big deal’ at trade deadline||02.19.16 at 3:46 pm ET|
While the NBA trade deadline amounted to just a lot of hot air for the Celtics, Danny Ainge says he nearly pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal.
The Celtics‘ president of basketball operations said Friday on WEEI’s OM&F that he was ready to execute a big deal for a superstar but that the other team got cold feet at the last moment.
Ainge said there was a lot of discussion about their possession of Brooklyn’s likely lottery pick this June and said he and his staff made a significant offer for a big-name player from an undisclosed team.
“We were close to pulling off what I would classify a big deal,” Ainge said. “But it just didn’t happen. You’ve got to have two [teams] that want to do it. These deals are tough. They’re not easy. It was not a no-brainer for us. A lot of deliberation went on over the last couple of days and we felt it something we should do. But ultimately, the other team we were dealing with just did not want to do it, and I certainly understand why. It’s a tough call.”
Ainge said there was enough productive talks that occurred that could lead to something bigger this summer.
“I think that sometimes these can set the table if there are future conversations off ones that happen in this trade deadline,” Ainge said. “That does happen often. So much of it is going to depend on how good teams play down the stretch. Doing deals at trade deadline are tough. Most of the trade-deadline deals are book-keeping deals, cleaning house, sometimes with a player that doesn’t get along with a coach or team, or they’re preparing for summer, getting draft picks if your team isn’t going so well because of injuries or other things, not living up to expectations, but those are the kind of deals that are done mostly at trade deadline.
“I don’t think it’s a shock or coincidence that no blockbuster deals were done at trade deadline because you have only a third of the season left and it’s really even tough to maximize this last 27-game stretch we have with a new player and trying to implement those type of things and you’re taking one year away. That’s why more of the bigger deals are done in the offseason.”
The Celtics are 32-23 and in third place in the East behind the Cavaliers and Raptors. Ainge said he would’ve like to have added a piece to help the current roster but not at the asking price that was being demanded by several teams.
“There were no really close situations in taking on rentals, no,” Ainge added. “We weren’t selling any of our future assets. A rental for a small price is something that we would have considered. But certainly not a rental for the demanded price. Absolutely not, not even a thought or a close consideration.”
As for his purported adoration for Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Ainge said he laughs at many of the rumors that floated over the last two weeks.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there and flat out false rumors and interest in certain players,” Ainge said. “I don’t know where the media has their sources because I believe sometimes it’s just completely made up. Kevin is a good player. There’s no question about it. He’s an All-Star. He’s a very good player on a very good team right now.”
Ainge would not mention the names Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard or Al Horford and insists that they were never really on the team’s radar at the Thursday’s deadline. To hear the entire interview on OM&F, click here.
|Danny Ainge will sit down with David Lee ‘in next 24-48 hours’||02.18.16 at 7:23 pm ET|
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday in the post-deadline conference call that he plans to discuss the options for both Lee and the team after Ainge was unable to execute a deal to send Lee and his $15.49 million contract out of town.
“We’ll sit down with David and his representatives and have some conversation about what’s best for us and what’s best for David in the next 24-48 hours,” Ainge said.
Lee, who hasn’t left the bench for any action in the last 18 games, is represented by Mark Bartelstein. Since the Celtics weren’t able to trade him, Lee is an eligible candidate to be bought out. Lee is averaging a career-low 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 30 games this season.
The game before the All-Star break, forward Kelly Olynyk injured his right shoulder. That injury would appear — on the surface — to possibly have changed Ainge’s thinking on Lee. But Ainge made it clear Thursday that’s not the case at all.
“I’m not sure that Kelly’s injury has much to do with that,” Ainge said, adding to the likelihood that Ainge will make every effort to pursue a buyout and cut Lee free and let him hook on with a playoff-bound team that might be willing to pick up a 32-year-old power forward.
|Danny Ainge believes Kelly Olynyk likely out 2 weeks, will not need surgery||02.18.16 at 5:02 pm ET|
There’s good news and bad news on Kelly Olynyk.
The Celtics forward will be out of action at least two week following the All-Star break with a right shoulder injury suffered in the first half of the last game before the break against the Clippers.
But Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in a conference call Thursday that he doesn’t think surgery will be needed.
“Kelly was in L.A. and saw a doctor there,” Ainge said. “Him and Dr. [Brian] McKeon and the L.A. doctor and [Celtics trainer] Eddie Lacerte are trying to figure out exactly what the right protocol and treatment is. It’s still sore. He received treatment throughout the All-Star break in Canada from his trainer there.
“He definitely won’t be playing for the next couple of weeks, but we’re not sure. Right now, it’s still sore and bothering him. We don’t need any surgery or any long-term cures for him. But right now, it’s a short-term ailment that will keep him on the sidelines for, I’m guessing, two weeks. That’s just what I think. We’ll see, though.”
Olynyk is averaging 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds this season in 54 games with the Celtics. He started off the season as one of the five starters but has found his place coming off the bench in 17 of the last 18 games for the Celtics.
|Danny Ainge: ‘There were no deals good enough to do’||02.18.16 at 4:49 pm ET|
Danny Ainge needed to have his socks knocked off to relinquish the likely Brooklyn lottery pick coming his way in June. And in the end, his socks stayed on.
“I think that everybody knows what the value of those picks are and I think everybody in the league would like to have a pick in the top echelon of the draft, but there’s certainly players that would be worth trading an unknown draft pick for right now,” Ainge said in a conference call just over an hour after the 3 p.m. deadline passed without the Celtics pulling the trigger on any deals.
There was plenty of speculation that the Celtics were in on talks to acquire Dwight Howard, Kevin Love or Al Horford. While not mentioning any of those players by name Thursday, Ainge indicated that he did have talks over players that would make him consider trading the Brooklyn pick.
“We did have some discussion in regard to that,” he said. “There are some players that did get our attention and some that did not get our attention in regards to that pick.”
In all, the Celtics have three first-round picks as it stands now. Ainge was asked if he sees a scenario where he’s comfortable making that pick at the draft in June.
“Of course,” Ainge answered. “Why wouldn’t I be? Why would I not be comfortable making that pick? We’ll continue through the rest of spring and summer and look at both options. We’ll be prepared to draft and be listening to offers at the draft.”
|Celtics keep quiet at the deadline||02.18.16 at 3:45 pm ET|
There were no earth-shaking moves to be made.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge worked the phones over the last week but ultimately the reports that he didn’t want to pay “premium prices” for premium talent proved accurate.
Instead of adding a rental like Dwight Howard or Al Horford or an expensive piece like Kevin Love, Ainge decided to stay put and hold onto his three first-round picks, including Brooklyn’s likely lottery pick this June.
As it turned out, Howard, Horford and Love all stayed with their respective teams in Houston, Atlanta and Cleveland.
There were several lower-tier deals, including former Celtics forward Jeff Green being sent to the Clippers, where he will be reunited with his old coach Doc Rivers. The Clippers send Lance Stephenson and a first-round pick to Memphis in return.
The Hawks did make a couple of deals. They acquired veteran shooting guard Kirk Hinrich from the Bulls for a second-round pick. Atlanta also traded guard Shelvin Mack to Utah for a second-round pick. Mack played for Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler.
|Report: Celtics not showing ‘any interest’ in Dwight Howard||02.18.16 at 2:56 pm ET|
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, neither Boston nor Charlotte (another team rumored to have need for the Rockets big man) ever had serious discussions with Houston to acquire the 12-year veteran center.
“To my knowledge, neither [team] has ever shown any interest in making a real offer for Dwight. I’m not sure any team has,” Lowe tweeted.
Howard, who has an option for $23 million next season, is averaging 14.6 points and 12 rebounds for a team that is in ninth place in the Western Conference, with a 27-28 record.
The Lowe report echoes the same sentiment of Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported earlier Thursday that the Celtics had not shown any interest in paying “premium” prices for any of the high-profile big men that were reportedly on the block before the trading deadline.
To my knowledge, neither BOS/CHA has ever shown any interest in making a real offer for Dwight. I'm not sure any team has. 52 minutes to go.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 18, 2016
|Report: Celtics lead Al Horford sweepstakes if Hawks make him available at deadline||02.17.16 at 4:48 pm ET|
Are the Celtics about to get their big man at the trade deadline?
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Danny Ainge is the front-runner to land Atlanta center Al Horford if the Hawks make him available before Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
The nine-year veteran is averaging 15.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while starting all of Atlanta’s 55 games this season. The 31-24 Hawks are just one game behind the third-place Celtics in the Eastern Conference.
This all begs the question why Atlanta would want to deal one the league’s best big men right now? The Hawks are staring down the barrel of the free agency gun with Horford set to hit the open market this summer.
Horford is in the final year of a five-year, $60 million contract and is earning $12 million this season. Blakely reports that the Hawks have not made a decision on whether they will trade Horford but a league source told CSNNE.com that “the Celtics have emerged as one of the favorites to land him.”
But the big caveat is whether the Hawks even decide to part ways with the veteran forward at all. Atlanta would likely demand one of Boston’s three first-round picks.
If Ainge feels the true value is in the lottery pick, and could package the other first-rounders and some other enticements, then the deal might happen.
What would it mean for the short-term? Horford, a four-time All-Star, would easily step in and become Boston’s best post player, as Jared Sullinger, Amir Johnson and Jae Crowder has formed the starting front court the last 11 games and 16 of the last 17 games.
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