Remember over a year ago today, at the 2016 draft? The Chicago Bulls asked for Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and the number three overall pick for Jimmy Butler. Although I personally have always liked Jaylen Brown, some consider this a missed opportunity. Since then, 13 months have gone by. After all the speculation and rumors, Al Horford was the only player the Celtics have been able to acquire.
Fast forward a couple weeks after the draft. Danny Ainge “hit” on Al Horford. The biggest free agent signed in the history of the Celtics. (Which says more about the lack of free agents than the player). Then of course, the rumors started to swirl. “KD to Boston” was the thought of every Celtics fan. In a meeting that included Tom Brady, every Celtic starter, a max contract and a key to the city was still not enough to lure Durant in. Alright, this one isn’t Danny’s fault. Durant took the easiest way possible to win a ring and many feel he was never really going to come here. That being said, Danny still missed.
Fast forward to the trade deadline this previous season, or to start, a few days before it. Get ready, because there is a lot to go over. Two days before the deadline, one of the biggest names on Boston’s wish list got traded….To New Orleans. Demarcus Cousins got dealt to the Pelicans in a deal in which Buddy Heild was the centerpiece. Seems like a pretty low price for s team like Boston to miss out on.
Actually trading deadline 2017. The Paul George rumors spark up. The long-term Paul George, who hadn’t yet assured he was going to Los Angeles. Boston whiffed on George after reportedly offering 3 first round picks, including the Brooklyn pick in 2017 which ended up being #1 overall. The question is was Jae Crowder or Avery Bradley really the blockage to this trade? If so, Danny messed up big time.
Same day, same result. Jimmy Butlers name once agin pops up but no deal is done. Reports swirl again that it was a player, rather than a pick holding Danny back. Once again, it is only a report, but if that is the case then Boston looks bad.
Other small trades at the deadline were being looked into. Nerlens Noel as a rim protector and rebounder, which the Celtics needed badly, was one option. P.J. Tucker was another option who would help take the load off of Crowder and Brown defending LeBron when the two met. Once again, no deal done. Boston stayed with their same roster.
Fast forward, this time to the draft lottery. The Celtics had the number one pick, and a the biggest trade asset for any team that planned on rebuilding. The MEGA-deals started to be talked about. The names of Anthony Davis and Kristaps Porzingis were mentioned, but once again Celtics fans got their hopes up for no reason. Ainge did nothing.
Well, Ainge actually did make a trade with the number one pick. He traded down to 3 to get Jason Tatum. The good news was Boston acquired another trade asset to trade for a big name. The bad news was Boston missed out on multiple opportunities to trade it. Add Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson to the list how players Boston missed out on.
Finally, about a week ago, there was a plan. A trade for George was in place, and it looked like Hayward would sign here. Trading down made sense because we would use the pick for Paul George. Oppurtunity=missed. George was traded to the Thunder and Boston lost out again.
With George gone, Boston no longer can sell Hayward on a “super team”. Like the Celtics, the Jazz do have a solid future ahead. However, the Jazz have already made moves to make their team more attractive for Hayward by acquiring Ricky Rubio. If the Celtics lose out on Gordon Hayward who had seemed to be a lock to be in a Boston uniform since last year, Danny’s tactics will really be questioned.
The Celtics simply will not have the cap space to retain all of these future guys even if they do all develop into star players. As of right now, Danny loaded the bases with all of his assets. If he does nothing, consider it a strike out to end the inning. Ainge needs to finish the job.
So, to recap.
Players Celtics did acquire:
Players Celtics missed on:
Is Danny Ainge a good GM? You make the call.