The Celtics Did the Right Thing During the Trade Deadline
Thursday was the NBA Trade Deadline which means that many teams were scrambling to find guys to improve their team or possibly blow up their team and rebuild. There were many deals made between teams, but really nothing major. The Celtics were not one of those teams which is perfectly fine, although Celtics homers would convince you otherwise.
The two big guys that Celtics fans wanted were Paul George and Jimmy Butler. According to reports, Paul George would have cost you the 17' Nets pick and 3 of the 4 following players: Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown. Danny Ainge, like any sane person should, turned down the deal and told his old friend/Pacer's GM Larry Bird to go screw himself. I saw some people really mad they didn't do the deal which is absurd. First of all you are giving up 3 players that are a huge part of your current team just to get a player who will help you lose to Lebron. Second of all you are throwing away a guaranteed top-4 pick in this year's stacked draft class which means you miss out on transformative players like Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson. Lastly Paul George is from Los Angeles, has always said he wants to play for the Lakers when his deal is up, and oh yeah he can opt out of his deal during the summer of 2018. But no, Celtics fans wanted to risk 3 valuable players and the potential future of the franchise for Paul George. From the reports I saw it seemed like Danny was willing to offer the Nets pick but thought 3 of those players was asking too much. Thank god.
The other player that homer Celtics fans wanted was Butler and there were also rumors the Celtics were negotiating with the Bulls for him too. I think the desired offer from the Bulls was similar to the one the Pacers wanted. Again, like a rational human being with a functioning brain, Danny Ainge said no. And I hate repeating myself so the reason why it's smart not to trade all of that for Butler is the same reason I mentioned above with George. You risk all of those assets just to lose to Lebron.
What the Celtics really need at the moment is big man help and finding someone who can rebound and protect the rim. Three players that fit that description got traded today and they were Andrew Bogut, Taj Gibson, and Nerlens Noel. Andrew Bogut and Nerlens Noel basically got swapped and Bogut got bought out by the Sixers, which means he is a free agent. This is an opportunity for the Celtics to get help where they need it without giving up any sort of asset. The Rockets are supposed to be a frontrunner for Bogut right now, but I really hope the Celtics make a strong push to bring him on for the rest of this year. I was a little disappointed the Celtics couldn't have gotten the other player I mentioned in Noel. All Dallas gave up to get him was Bogut, who got bought out, and a second round pick. It's hard to believe the Celtics couldn't have offered a similar package with Amir Johnson and a second round pick, of which they have many. I really like Noel and think he can thrive as a starting center with the right guys around him. Another player I was disappointed we couldn't get was Taj Gibson. The Thunder got him and Doug McDermott for the cost of just Cameron Payne (the guy who does the pregame dance with Russell Westbrook) and a second round pick. Again, this seems like a deal the Celtics could have matched by offering Rozier and a second-rounder. So while not adding these players kind of disappointed me, maybe Danny Ainge just stayed pat because he wanted to remain flexible and not add potentially long contracts to the cap.
Overall some people will say the Celtics whiffed, but I would say they did the right thing by keeping their assets together and waiting for Lebron to age.
PS- I still don't think this is the end for George or Butler rumors. During and leading up to draft night, when the number of the Nets pick will be known, the Bulls and the Pacers might again make offers for the pick and Ainge might entertain them again. So I wouldn't give up just yet if you're one of the people who want George or Butler.