Danny Ainge has done a fine job this season walking a tight rope between maintaining competitiveness this year and keeping the Boston Celtics poised to rebuild (or reload, hopefully) once the summer hits. Not every move he made this offseason worked (see: Dooling, Keyon) but enough worked that Boston, despite aging another year and losing three players to season-ending maladies, is locked in a dead heat atop the Atlantic Division.
Ainge has accomplished enough during his career and shown enough of a forward-minded vision that other teams would surely covet him if he decided to leave Boston. Jason Quick of Oregon Live wondered Tuesday night whether Ainge would consider bolting Boston after this season, possibly for Portland. (via CelticsBlog)
If Kerr is still committed to his family, and turns down the interest from the Blazers, there are other possibilities.
Is Danny Ainge going to stay in Boston? If not, the Eugene native has a track record of executing the exact move the Blazers need this summer: taking good draft picks and turning them into gold, like he did when he traded the No. 5 overall pick (Jeff Green) to Seattle for Ray Allen, then trading Al Jefferson and expiring contracts for Kevin Garnett. In one season, the Celtics went from the cellar to NBA champions.
I couldn’t see Ainge leaving Boston for Portland. The Celtics seem to be an organization that values its employees, and Ainge seems to receive a healthy amount of respect from the Celtics brass. The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, run through general managers like a man with a troublesome stomach runs through toilet paper. None of their general managers deserve respect and each is on the hot seat as soon he’s hired, mostly because owner Paul Allen seems to have little idea how to handle social interaction.
But could Ainge leave for somewhere else? It’s possible. As diligent as he’s been while planning for Boston’s future, the path back to contending for a title could be a long one. The Celtics currently have very few players under contract following this season (the main three are Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley), and the 2012 class of free agency features tremendously few franchise-altering unrestricted free agents. If Ainge left, he could very well find a new home better-suited to winning in the near future, if that’s what he’s looking for.
I don’t know. Aannnnyyyttthhhiiinnnngggg iiissss ppooossssiiibbbblllleeeee, I suppose.
What would you think about Ainge leaving? Thoughts, please.