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Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 19. Hello and goodbye, Courtney Lee 08.12.15 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. 19 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

July 20, 2012: Hello, Courtney Lee.

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Read More: 25 most consequential trades, Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, Danny Ainge
Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades: 20. Hello, Keyon Dooling 07.31.15 at 2:45 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. 20 on the list of Danny Ainge’s 25 most consequential trades.

Feb. 24, 2011: Goodbye, Marquis Daniels.

ARRIVING in Boston

  • Sacramento’€™s 2017 second-round pick (top-55 protected): Because the Kings are the Kings, this pick will likely never come to fruition, as is the case with most heavily protected second-rounders. This is not the prize.
  • $2.47 million trade exception: Because the C’s were a salary cap-strapped team, this was the real reward.

DEPARTING to Sacramento

Dec. 9, 2011: Hello, Keyon Dooling.

ARRIVING in Boston

  • Keyon Dooling: The veteran guard spent just one season in Boston and sat nearly a third of the 2011-12 campaign with knee and hip ailments, but the former players’ union vice president won over C’s fans, if only for his unwavering support of Rajon Rondo and 50 percent 3-point shooting in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.

DEPARTING to Milwaukee

  • Albert Miralles: A throw-in to Ainge’s second Antoine Walker trade in 2005, Miralles never left the Euroleague and was approaching his 30th birthday by December 2011, so he was long past a lost cause.
  • $2.47 million TPE: With few, if any, trade-able contracts and only the taxpayer’s mid-level exception and veteran minimum contracts to offer in hopes of adding depth for one more kick at the title can, the Celtics used the traded player exception acquired in the Daniels deal to absorb Dooling’s $2.25 million contract.

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Read More: 25 most consequential trades, Boston Celtics, Keyon Dooling, Marquis Daniels
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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Read More: 25 most, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, NBA
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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Read More: 25 most consequential trades, Antoine Walker, Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge
Report: Celtics acquire SG Zoran Dragic, pick from Heat 07.27.15 at 11:53 am ET
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Zoran Dragic

Zoran Dragic

The Celtics have acquired 6-foot-5 shooting guard Zoran Dragic and a second-round pick from the Heat in exchange for a heavily protected second-round pick that likely will never come to fruition, according to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.

The Heat will send their 2020 second-round selection and pay Dragic’s guaranteed salary of $1.71 million in 2014-15, per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. The Celtics reportedly are expected to waive Dragic.

Much like the recent deal for Perry Jones III, the C’s add a second-round pick in exchange for relieving a team of a portion of its luxury tax penalty.

Dragic, was acquired by the Heat at last season’s trade deadline along with his brother, point guard Goran Dragic, from the Suns. He appeared in 10 games for Miami, averaging 2.2 points while shooting 41 percent from the field.

Dragic, who starred for Slovenia in last year’s World Cup, played for the Heat’s team in the Orlando Pro Summer League this month and averaged 12.3 points on 39 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24.5 minutes.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Zoran Dragic
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
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