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Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 21. Goodbye, Walter McCarty 07.30.15 at 10:03 am ET
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Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.

With that out of the way, here’s No. 21 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

Feb. 8, 2005: Goodbye, Walter McCarty. ARRIVING in Boston

  • Golden State’€™s 2007 second-round pick (Aaron Gray): Phoenix owned this future selection and its own second-rounder. At the time of the trade, the Suns owned a 38-11 record and the Warriors a 13-35 record, so this seemed like a safer bet to be the higher pick. Sure enough, Golden State was slotted 49th in 2007 and Phoenix 59th. By that time, though, Ainge had already swapped this pick in exchange for Denver’s 2006 second-rounder (also 49th) in order to draft a player the Celtics identified as a value pick: Leon Powe.

DEPARTING to Phoenix

  • Walter McCarty: Inarguably the most popular non-star on the late 1990’s/early 2000’s Celtics, McCarty was coming off his two best seasons — averaging 6.9 points (54.1 true shooting percentage), 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.2 minutes off the bench for a pair of playoff teams — and Tommy Heinsohn’s “I love Waltah” fan club was in full effect. He had also just celebrated his 31st birthday and had one NBA season left in his legs.

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Read More: 25 most consequential trades, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, NBA
Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 22. Hello, Ricky Davis 07.29.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.

With that out of the way, here’s No. 22 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

Dec. 15, 2003: Hello, Ricky Davis.

ARRIVING in Boston

  • Ricky Davis: Nine months removed from the a ludicrous attempt to complete a triple-double, Davis was in the second season of his six-year, $34.1 million deal. The establishment of the Garden’s glorious Get Buckets Brigade and his failed between-the-legs dunk against the Lakers showed little evolution of his game, and he was packaged in a deal that returned Wally Szczerbiak‘s even more cumbersome contract two years later.
  • Chris Mihm: The 7-footer played 54 games in green before earning the distinction of being involved in the last trade between the C’s and Lakers. Boston dealt Mihm, Chucky Atkins and Jumaine Jones to L.A. for Rick Fox, Gary Payton and a first-round pick in August 2004. This marks the first definitive win of Ainge’s trade history.
  • Michael Stewart: He was a throw-in to the trade for Antoine Walker and was out of the league by April 2005.
  • Boston’€™s 2005 second-round pick (Ryan Gomes): The former Providence star’s production during his first two seasons in Boston made him attractive enough to be an asset in Ainge’s 2007 trade for Kevin Garnett.

DEPARTING to Cleveland

  • Tony Battie: The Cavaliers traded Batman to the Magic at season’s end, acquiring two key contributors to their 2007 NBA Finals run (Drew Gooden and Anderson Varejao) in return. Battie signed a four-year, $23 million extension in Orlando, starting all 82 games in 2005-06 before seeing his minutes decline thereafter.
  • Kedrick Brown: One of many horrendous draft picks by the previous regime, the No. 11 overall selection in 2001 played 42 more NBA games over the next 14 months before taking his talents to the D-League and abroad.
  • Eric Williams: A beloved member of the early 2000’s Celtics, he played out the final 50 games of his contract before joining the New Jersey Nets as a free agent. He could never stay healthy and played for four different teams before retiring at age 34 in 2007 and concentrating on his new career as a “Basketball Wives” star.

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Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 23. Hello and goodbye again, Antoine Walker 07.28.15 at 12:01 pm ET
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Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.

With that out of the way, here’s No. 23 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

Feb. 24, 2005: Hello again, Antoine Walker.

ARRIVING in Boston

  • Antoine Walker: Just 14 months after trading Walker for one of the worst contracts in NBA history, Ainge reacquired the former All-Star for a first-round pick and expiring contracts. It was weird. It was also an obvious attempt to make a playoff push in Doc Rivers‘ first season as coach, and it worked. The Celtics won 11 of their first 12 games with Walker back in green, qualified for the playoffs and … of course lost in the first round.

DEPARTING to Atlanta

  • Tom Gugliotta: Good ol’ Googs was just that — old. The one-time NBA All-Star played 20 games in Boston after signing as a free agent at age 35. He lasted 27 more on the Hawks before retiring at season’s end.
  • Gary Payton: Still fairly productive at age 36, The Glove was included for salary-matching purposes and promptly waived by the Hawks. He re-signed with the C’s for the rest of the season a week later, resulting in The Gary Payton Rule requiring players to wait 30 days before re-signing with their previous team. (That time period has since been changed to the remainder of the season in what is called The Zydrunas Ilgauskas Rule.)
  • Michael Stewart: He scored a whopping five points in 71 minutes for the Celtics during the 2003-04 season, did not see the Garden floor the following season and played just 12 more NBA games before calling it a career.
  • Lakers’€™ 2006 first-round pick (Rajon Rondo): While Gugliotta, Payton and Stewart represented a $12.9 million pile of scrap heap material, they were all expiring contracts and thus weren’t a pot that needed much sweetening to unload. But Ainge was fairly liberal with his first-round picks in his early days as GM, and thankfully he was able to get this pick back by way of the Phoenix Suns after sacrificing another first-rounder.

Aug. 2, 2005: Goodbye again, Antoine Walker.

ARRIVING in Boston

  • Curtis Borchardt: It’s perfectly OK if you don’t remember the Borchadt era in Boston. His claim to fame in a Celtics uniform was seven points in seven preseason games before signing overseas in the Spanish League.
  • Albert Miralles: Ditto for Miralles, except he never actually left Spain. Strangely, that actually helped the Celtics six years later, when Ainge smartly dealt his rights to the Milwaukee Bucks for Keyon Dooling.
  • Qyntel Woods: Samesies, except he was waived after three preseason games and signed with those wacky 2005-06 New York Knicks that seemingly featured every certifiably insane NBA player of the 2000s.
  • Miami’€™s 2006 second-round pick (Edin Bavcic): Likewise, the Celtics never made this selection, because Ainge traded it less than two months later for 19 games worth of Dan Dickau during the 2005-06 NBA season.
  • 2008 second-round pick (Nikola Pekovic): The Celtics got Nik Pekovic out of this deal? Awesome! Oh, wait, Ainge also tossed this pick into a trade a few months later for, among other assets, Michael Olowokandi.

DEPARTING to Miami

  • Antoine Walker: ‘Toine, of course, put together the last decent season of his NBA career in 2005-06, playing every regular-season game and starting all 23 playoff games for the Heat during their run to the NBA title.

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Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 24. Goodbye, Semih Erden 07.24.15 at 12:06 pm ET
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Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.

With that out of the way, here’s No. 24 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

Feb. 24, 2011: Goodbye, Semih Erden.

ARRIVING in Boston

  • Minnesota’s 2013 second-round pick (via Cleveland): This pick was later used as a throw-in to complete the 2012 trade for Courtney Lee, and the Portland Trail Blazers ultimately used it to select Kansas center Jeff Withey with the No. 39 overall pick.

DEPARTING to Cleveland

  • Semih Erden: Due to a series of injuries and rumored homesickness resulting from worry over his ailing mother, the Turkish center played all of 32 games in parts of two seasons for the Cavaliers before returning to his native country, where he again plays for Fenerbahce.
  • Luke Harangody: Likewise, Harangody appeared in 42 games over the same two seasons for Cleveland before spending the past three years in the D-League and Euroleague.

It may not look like much, but this is a prime example of the value of second-round picks, something to keep in mind when the Celtics have as many as five such selections in the 2016 NBA draft.

From a talent evaluation standpoint, the Celtics took Erden with the last pick in the 2008 draft and Harangody with the No. 52 overall pick in 2010. Since Erden had been stashed overseas, both late-round picks were rookies competing for roster spots on a team that was coming off the 2010 NBA Finals appearance. Considering the health and age of a C’s frontcourt that featured Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaquille O’Neal, Glen Davis and a rehabbing Kendrick Perkins, both Erden and Harangody made the roster — and played important minutes on a team that won 56 games.

Harangody had a career night (17 points, 11 rebounds) in an early January win over the Toronto Raptors, and Erden averaged 20 minutes over 37 games, including seven starts, posting impressive 36-minute averages in Boston (10.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 assists). So, it came as somewhat of a surprise that Ainge parted ways with them for seemingly nothing on the same day he dealt Perkins, leaving the brittle O’Neals and an unfamiliar Nenad Krstic to man the center spot.

And we all know how that played out.

By the trade deadline, though, the Celtics had already identified both Erden and Harangody were not long for the NBA, and keeping them around during a playoff run would only diminish what little value they had. So, Ainge took what he could get, and that second-round pick from Minnesota seemed almost as good as a late first-rounder, since the Timberwolves were well on their way to a league-worst 17 wins in 2010-11 and a safe bet to be a bottom-10 team for the next couple years.

In a vacuum, Ainge had turned two late second-round picks into an early second-rounder, which is a win when you consider those late selections weren’t ever going to crack a legitimate NBA rotation.

Now, we see the value of an early second-round pick. The Celtics were trying desperately to acquire Courtney Lee in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets in 2012, and they required a third team to dump enough salary on in order to match Lee’s contract demands. With only scrap-heap players Sasha Pavlovic, JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore and Sean Williams to offer in return, the Celtics had to include low-cost assets to convince the Rockets and Blazers to assume their salaries.

Enter the second-round picks. The Celtics had three such selections in the 2013 draft — their own (No. 45), the one from Minnesota (No. 39) and another from Charlotte (No. 32) by way of Oklahoma City as a result of the Thunder failing to disclose information about Jeff Green‘s heart ailment in the Perkins trade. The earliest pick went to the Rockets along with Johnson, Moore and Williams; the two later picks went to the Blazers with Pavlovic; and Lee came to Boston on a mid-level salary.

Nobody will ever describe the Courtney Lee era as a success in Boston, but at the time it was a coup for a contending team with zero spending flexibility and little to no young talent available to trade. And while none of the C’s three second-round picks were enough to acquire a player of value on their own, as a collective they helped grease the wheels on a deal that seemed like a steal in the present.

Remember that when Ainge sweetens the pot on trades this season with second-round picks, because it’s not like he’ll actually select someone every six picks in the latter half of the 2016 draft.

Read More: 25 most consequential trades, Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, Danny Ainge
Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 25. Hello, Sebastian Telfair 07.23.15 at 11:41 am ET
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Over the next month, we’ll chronicle the 25 most consequential trades of Danny Ainge’s tenure as Celtics president of basketball operations. When we’re done, we’ll have a better understanding of Ainge’s philosophy and success rate on the trade market. Perhaps by the end of this exercise we’ll even feel better about the future of this rebuild. At the very least, we’ll have something interesting to debate while we wait for training camp to open.

Darius Songaila

Darius Songaila

Up top, let’s dispense with the least consequential trades of the Danny Ainge era.

  • June 25, 2003: The Celtics traded Darius Songaila for Sacramento’s 2003 second-round pick (Brandon Hunter) and 2005 second-round pick (Orien Greene). The Boston faithful should be encouraged by the fact this ranks among the worst deals of Ainge’s career.
  • Oct. 13, 2006: The Celtics traded Dwayne Jones for Luke Jackson. Whatever.
  • Feb. 17, 2009: The Celtics traded Sam Cassell in a salary dump for Sacramento’s heavily protected 2015 second-round pick, which never came to fruition.
  • Feb. 19, 2009: The Celtics traded Patrick O’Bryant, whose psyche had been destroyed by Kevin Garnett, for Toronto’s protected and since extinguished 2014 second-round pick.
  • June 23, 2011: The Celtics traded the No. 25 overall pick (MarShon Brooks) to Brooklyn for the No. 27 pick (JaJuan Johnson) and the Nets‘ 2014 second-round pick (Russ Smith), which was later used as part of a package to acquire Kelly Olynyk. Both the C’s and Nets made massive mistakes in selecting Brooks and Johnson over No. 30 pick Jimmy Butler.
  • June 27, 2013: The Celtics traded cash for Indiana’s No. 53 overall pick Colton Iverson, who has played overseas ever since and remains under Boston’s control.
  • Aug. 15, 2013: The Celtics traded Fab Melo for Donte Greene in a salary dump.
  • July 19, 2014: The Celtics traded Kris Humphries to Washington for a $5.3 million trade exception and a heavily protected future second-round pick that will never be realized. Boston rolled that $5.3 million TPE into a larger $12.9 million TPE in the Rajon Rondo deal.

With that out of the way, here’s No. 25 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

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Report: Celtics looking to make splash in 2016 with potential for 2 max deals 07.07.15 at 12:56 pm ET
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

With a largely underwhelming Celtics free agency period winding down, a Boston Herald report says that Danny Ainge is conserving cap space in order to make room for two max deals in 2016.

Multiple big names will be on the market following the 2015-16 campaign, the most notable of which being Thunder forward and 2013-14 NBA MVP Kevin Durant. With the cap set to explode to $89 million due to the league’s new lucrative television deal that will go into effect next offseason, the Celtics will be in a position to aggressively buy.

Not only will they have the option to pursue max players through free agency, they will also have the assets and cap space to negotiate sign-and-trades for max players as well.

The Celtics only have two players with guaranteed contracts beyond next season (Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas), leaving them with picks and young prospects like James Young and Marcus Smart, who could serve as valuable trade pawns.

Though the C’s have long been plagued with the perception as an undesirable free agency destination, the C’s current situation mirrors the 2007 offseason when they successfully recruited Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to join Paul Pierce and form the Big Three. Right now, they can remain content with building pieces and role players for a run at big names in 2016.

Read More: 2016 NBA free agency, Danny Ainge, Kevin Durant,
Danny Ainge: ‘[Terry Rozier] was always that high on our draft board’ 06.30.15 at 11:42 am ET
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Terry Rozier was selected No. 16 overall by the Celtics. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Terry Rozier was selected No. 16 overall by the Celtics. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge introduced the team’s 2015 draft class at a press conference Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.

Ainge sat alongside coach Brad Stevens, team president Rich Gotham and the Celtics’ newest members — Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey and Marcus Thornton.

With Ainge and the Celtics taking a lot of heat since the draft about potentially overrating Rozier, who they selected at No. 16 overall, much of the dialogue centered around the Louisville guard and how he managed to move so far up the C’s draft board.

“It started in my college career, I just got in a lot of work in the gym,” Rozier told reporters. “I left a lot of coaches with great impressions then I came here. I just work hard and show what I can do, which is toughness, defense, showing I can shoot the ball a little better than my college stats show. … I’m just excited to be playing for a … great franchise with 17 world titles and just to meet my new teammates and get it started.”

Ainge followed up to Rozier’s answer, saying he was always high on the team’s draft board. Rozier averaged a team-leading 17.1 points per game last year.

“He was always that high on our draft board,” Ainge said. “For the last couple months he’s been a guy that we had known and looked about and thought was very underrated based on the media and how they perceived him. Terry, because of the quality of player he is, was moving up rapidly in the last few weeks of the draft process as far as the attention he was getting around the league and that started scaring us because we thought we had a diamond in the rough that nobody really was valuing all that much.”

Though many expected the Celtics to emerge from the draft with solid, rim-protecting big men, Ainge surprised many when he selected guards with three out of his four picks. When asked about how he can set himself apart on a guard-heavy roster, Rozier conversely described how he intends to fit in with the rest of the Celtics’ roster.

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Read More: Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, Terry Rozier,
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