Despite there still being quite a lot of Mookie Betts news, I figured that it might be time to switch up the subject. Fortunately, the Celtics are creating a lot of buzz for their lack of moves yesterday at the NBA’s trade deadline. I’ve actually heard more backlash towards Danny Ainge from #GreenTeamers than I can remember. Of course, with that has come backlash to the backlash as folks like myself try to look at the C’s with a level head.
Now, I’ll admit I am usually a sucker for big moves being made and I almost always want my favorite teams to push their chips to the middle of the table and go for it. However, Danny Ainge was right to sit tight yesterday. This Celtics team is a contender right now, in its current form. They sit at 35-15 which is good for third in the Eastern Conference and sixth in the NBA as a whole. Sure, some of the competition made maneuvers to improve, like the Miami Heat, but most of the big dogs sat this deadline day out.
I wouldn’t say that any move yesterday will greatly alter the NBA’s championship picture this year and most general managers actually valued keeping together their groups due to chemistry and continuity. With the death of the Warriors, the league is about as open wide as it’s ever been. A team like the Celtics, with out much cap space but with quite a lot of draft picks, doesn’t need to unload too many assets to make the marginal moves that would have been available to them.
Many Celtics fans wanted Davis Bertans, a 27-year-old Latvian big man from the Washington Wizards. While I would love to have Bertans in Boston, the Wizards were asking for TWO first round picks for the sharp-shooting forward. Danny Ainge, on his appearance this morning with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” alluded to this by saying “I don’t want to give up multiple draft picks for a rental player that’s going to be our ninth man.” I couldn’t agree more with this thought by Danny and I believe it would have been shortsighted of him to make the move for the sake of making a move.
All in all, the Celtics never had a home run deal available to them and they kept cool rather than overreacting. Sometimes, the best move is the one you don’t make. Was Clint Capela someone I wanted them to possibly add? Yea, sure but he is far from perfect. How about Andre Drummond? I saw some people saying the Celtics should have been in on him as the price Cleveland paid to get him was lower than expected. Well, they would have had to offload salary to make that move. The only players making enough money are in the core group of Hayward, Walker, Brown, Tatum and Smart. None of those guys were touchable, as they shouldn’t be.
At this point in the season, we need to see the Celtics at full strength. They’ve been some level of injured or sick all year long and yet, they still have a great group that gets along, wins games and is fun to watch. Should they look into the buyout market to add a veteran? Sure, but they don’t NEED to do a thing. Just get healthy and we’ll have the firepower to make a real run at this thing come spring.