Danny Ainge said he made courtesy call to Dwight Howard's reps to see interest in coming to #celtics through s & t. Answer was no
|Posted by shawn cassidy on July 2, 2013 at 5:10 AM|
The unknown leaves a big fat pit in the bottom of my stomach. The 2013-14 season can go many ways. This team on paper is a 7th or 8th seed at best. Which usually means an early playoff exit, and likely by the hands of the Heat or Nets. Many believe this team could or should tank next season to get a great lottery pick.
Some other fans think the Celtics may just pull off a few sign and trades that could land the Celtics a Josh Smith, or perhaps Paul Milsap. There is also another way this could all pan out. Danny may just stand still with this current roster, or he may just continue to trade off some guys.
With Danny's latest rumblings that led him reaching out to Dwight's camp to see if he would like a S&T trade to the Celtics. Dwight said no. Without that said, does that mean Danny is looking to retool right here and now. That action tells me yes. He's also supposed to be in contact with Josh Smith for a potential S&T.
The unknown of a rebuilding phase or even a possible retooling leaves
my stomach tied up in uncomfortable knots. What if the Celtics retool? Is a guy
like Smith really the answer? What about a rebuilding phase? Could Danny strike
twice with building inventory on expiring deals, and draft picks along with
young talent to trade off in a big blockbuster deal that resembles the KG deal. He hopes so. I do know I'm not a fan of Howard in Boston, and thankfully he's not either. But I am a fan of building this team quickly to keep Rondo happy. It would be a crime to waste his time in his prime.
"I'd like us to fix everything this summer and be playing for a championship next June," a straight-faced Ainge said.
When he was asked if that was a realistic timeline, Ainge finally cracked a veteran GM's smile and answered, "No," before laughing.
"There's no time frame," Ainge said. "Everybody wants to hear that [it will be quick, but] it takes time. And there are no guarantees.
"When you trade players the significance of Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett], and you talk about moving those guys, [some think] it's some sort of guarantee that we're going to rebuild and we're going to be successful again. When, no, it just happens to be the best way or the only way. But it's certainly not a guaranteed way to return to where we were. It just seems like the only way.
"So our hope is to accumulate a lot of draft picks and younger players. We have a core group of guys that we are really excited about and developing and continuing to watch their growth as the responsibility and expectations for them grow without the veteran players that have been so special for us the last six years."
If Ainge can clear some cap clog and pick up some additional draft picks along the way, then the Celtics might not have to be terrible to improve. Heck, a young core helmed by the likes of Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger might be good enough to get into the postseason in a less-than-imposing Eastern Conference.
The Celtics have to carefully straddle that line between teaching a winning culture to a young core and not winning so much that it hinders their draft efforts.
With nine first-round picks in the next five drafts -- after snagging 7-footer Kelly Olynyk with the No. 13 pick in this year's event -- Ainge believes the Celtics have the assets that can speed up the rebuilding process, regardless of how those picks are utilized.
"We always look at picks as being Celtics for their whole careers," Ainge said. "I know it hasn't always worked out that way. When we drafted Delonte West and Al Jefferson, we loved those guys and hoped they would be around for the whole time. Those guys were able to turn into Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Those were opportunities that, with the timeline of our franchise, and with Paul Pierce's age and so forth, we felt like we needed to make those deals. Our purpose was never to draft them and trade them, but that is part of the business.
"We always say, 'The three Ds: develop, draft and deal. That's how you build.' That will never change, it'll always be that way."
Ainge is confident the Celtics are on the right path, one that doesn't necessarily have to be termed as tanking. To be safe, classify Boston's plans as being "forward thinking." And Ainge foresees a bright future.
"There are no guarantees, but I expect us to be a championship contender again. Absolutely," Ainge said. "I wouldn't do this if I didn't believe we could get it accomplished."
This was all wishy washy talk by Ainge. What do you guys think?