|Danny Ainge explains why Celtics didn’t make any moves at deadline: ‘Nothing that was good enough’||02.23.17 at 4:05 pm ET|
Danny Ainge tried, but he’s not in a rush to give away Brooklyn picks, and he likes his team.
Those were the messages from the Celtics boss to reporters after Thursday’s trade deadline passed without Ainge making a deal.
“We had a lot of conversations about things that we could do to improve our team but nothing that was good enough to do,” Ainge told reporters, including Richie Thompson of the Boston Herald. “It’s hard to say and I think it takes two teams and a lot of times we don’t know how close. A lot of times it is very easy to tell but [sometimes] teams are very far apart. A lot of discussion, good conversation and a lot of rumors that were true and a lot of rumors that were not true.”
The Celtics were linked to Pacers All-Star Paul George, but never came close to consummating a deal. They also failed to address their lack of rebounding with a secondary deal.
Ainge made it clear that the Celtics value their two remaining first-round picks from the Nets, noting that executives across the league recognize how valuable those selections could be, especially with deep drafts forecast in 2017 and 2018.
“The ball has bounced our way,” Ainge told reporters, “and we need to make the most of that.”
Regardless, Ainge said he likes his team, especially with injured guard Avery Bradley due back soon, and young forward Jaylen Brown expected to return on Friday night when the Celtics open the second half in Toronto.
“The outcome is that we have a team that is getting ready to head to Toronto, the same team we’ve had since training camp,” said Ainge. “A team that is very close to being healthy.”
(For more on the trade deadline and how the inactivity leaves the Celtics as potentially only the fourth-best team in the Eastern Conference, check out this column.)
|Celtics rumors: Woj says Pacers won’t trade Paul George, so looks like that deal is dead||at 2:52 pm ET|
Adrian Wojnarowski says the Paul George deal is dead, so that’s the end of that.
The host of The Vertical podcast just tweeted the Pacers star isn’t going anywhere.
Indiana has passed on trade offers for Paul George and All-Star forward will remain with the Pacers, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 23, 2017
Based on Woj’s impeccable track record, that would appear to be it. Now the question is if the Celtics can pull off a minor deal to help the margins of their roster, particularly in the rebounding department.
Oh well. Those rumors were fun while they lasted.
Well this should throw some water on those Paul George rumors.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, George wants to either win a title in Indiana or head home to join the Lakers when he hits free agency after next season.
I repeat: Paul George – barring a title chance in Indy – is hell-bent on heading for Laker Land. This message has been sent throughout NBA.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 23, 2017
George grew up in Palmdale, California and played at Fresno State. He can opt out of his contract after next season and has reportedly always been enamored with playing for the Lakers.
That makes a trade by the Celtics that much more difficult, because they don’t want to surrender Nets picks and players from their current roster, only to have George bolt in free agency after next season.
|Celtics Rumors: Are Pacers attempting to clear roster spots so they can send Paul George to Boston?||at 1:33 pm ET|
OK, now the rumor mill is getting good.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Pacers are calling around trying to clear roster spots. Why, you ask?
Pacers involved in talks with teams potentially to clear roster spots, sources say. Teams suspect might be related to Celtics talks
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 23, 2017
Note the language: teams “suspect” the flurry of activity “might” be related to Celtics talks. That’s by no means definitive, but with Woj already reporting that the C’s are willing to include this year’s Nets pick for George, perhaps these talks are actually heating up.
What say you, Celtics fans?
For more on the trade deadline, by the way, check out this running diary.
Speaking to reporters at Celtics practice Thursday, guard Isaiah Thomas laughed off the controversy surrounding his eyeball and hourglass emojis, which had Celtics fans trying to discern meaning with the trade deadline rapidly approaching.
Thomas explained to reporters (including the ProJo’s Scott Souza) that he wasn’t tweeting about the trade deadline, and only realized the uproar after the fact.
“I didn’t mean to do that to y’all,” he noted mischievously.
Thomas pointed up at the basketball offices, where the curtains were drawn, and wondered if Danny Ainge and Co. were hard at work making a trade. He joked that they were busy. But he also turned serious when asked about his current team.
“I will roll with the guys inside this locker room until something changes,” he told reporters.
Asked if the Celtics believed they could catch the Cavs for the top seed in the East, he was equally confident.
“That’s the plan,” he said.
Head coach Brad Stevens told reporters that zero players were held out of practice because the trade deadline. Rookie Jaylen Brown is expected to return when the team opens the second half in Toronto on Friday. Gerald Green missed practice with a heel injury, while Avery Bradley was a limited practice participant as he attempts to return from an Achilles injury.
|Celtics rumors: Sixers acquire Andrew Bogut from Mavericks for Nerlens Noel, look to flip him||at 12:32 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Dallas Mavericks have traded center Andrew Bogut to the Philadelphia 76ers for Nerlens Noel, but this by no means closes the door on Bogut coming to Boston.
According to ESPN, the Sixers are looking to find “a landing spot” for Bogut in another trade before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
Bogut has drawn some interest from the C’s because the 7-footer would help shore up deficiencies on the glass, where the Celtics have taken a beating.
It’s also worth noting, however, that Bogut has been limited by injuries throughout his career, including this season. He has been limited to 26 games this season because of knee and hamstring maladies, and could only be acquired to play a part-time role.
Tucked within this Steven Bulpett story on potential Celtics trade targets with Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline rapidly approaching is a new name — Memphis forward JaMychal Green.
The 6-foot-9 Alabama product would fill a number of rotational needs for the Celtics. He’s considered an above-average defender who is averaging nine points and 7.3 rebounds a game while shooting .368 from 3-point land.
If the Celtics fail to land a big fish like Chicago’s Jimmy Butler or Indiana’s Paul George — and consensus seems to be growing that Celtics boss Danny Ainge intends to keep his Brooklyn picks — then they’ll turn their sights to the next tier, which includes players like Phoenix forward P.J. Tucker and Green.
Both can defend, rebound, and shoot 3’s, which seem like prerequisites to fit Brad Stevens’ system. Less of a fit in that sense would be a traditional center like Dallas’s Andrew Bogut, who would at least beef up the team’s subpar rebounding.
There’s no word on how available Green is, or what the Celtics would surrender to acquire him
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