As the trade deadline approaches, Steve Bulpett has some fairly telling quotes from Danny Ainge on the Boston Herald.
“It looks unlikely that anything will be done, other than possibly some players we will add to our roster,” Ainge said. “Not sure yet of what that will be.
“There’s been a lot of conversation around the league, and we’ve been very busy. Trades are very challenging to make, and then on top of that we like our guys. I like watching this team play, I like the personality of our team. We just need to find a way to give them the best chance to win with the resources we have. [...]
“My first choice is always to try to win now, especially when you have unique players like KG and Paul,” added Ainge. “That’s always the best option. But the injuries have at least allowed me to ponder other possibilities. It’s still going to be tough to convince me that’s what we need to do.”
That is both reasonable and about what we expected as we approached the deadline. It was always going to be difficult to improve the team without moving Pierce and Garnett, and moving either of them would be tough sell in Boston without a premier superstar coming back (and no team is giving up a premier superstar for two aging vets, no matter how well they have performed this year). This means that Boston will probably add some more Terrence Williams-style players, but we probably won’t see a Josh Smith-type deal (since the Green/Bass for Smith deal always seemed too good to be true anyway).
Much has been made of Ainge’s notoriously trade-happy trigger finger, but his final quote is telling. He would rather ride out this season with the pieces that are in place, but injuries have forced him to “ponder other possibilities.” I’m inclined to think that the rumors that keep popping up are less about him being obnoxious and offering Boston’s stars to any and every potential suitor and more about him doing his due diligence as a GM. In wake of Rondo’s injury, it would have been irresponsible of him not to see what was available, and if nothing was particularly striking, it would have been irresponsible of him to give away franchise players simply for the sake of changing things up. He has neither traded Boston’s best players, nor has he sat on his hands and done nothing. So far, so good.
Let’s hope it stays that way.
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