The 2017 NBA trade deadline came and went, with the Boston Celtics maintaining status quo by not moving or acquiring any pieces.
The early part of Thursday was spent by many Boston Celtics fans–and NBA fans alike–glued to their social media feeds. They were looking for the big trades that would put their team over the top.
There was certainly a lot of chatter throughout the day, but ultimately the Celtics stood pat by not making any moves.
This is not necessarily a bad thing.
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In case you forgot, the Boston Celtics currently have the 2nd-best record in the Eastern Conference. They have won 11 of their last 13 games, doing so without their starting shooting guard and one of the team’s top defenders in Avery Bradley.
Yes, the team nipping at their heels presumably got better. The Toronto Raptors, a main foe of the Celtics the past few seasons, shored up their interior with the recent acquisitions of P.J. Tucker and Serge Ibaka. While Toronto was preparing to take down King James, Boston watched the trade deadline pass.
Would the acquisition(s) of Paul George or Jimmy Butler been nice? Of course. Players of their caliber would have added an extra dimension to the Celtics. With George, the Celtics would have acquired a player with deep playoff experience.
This being said, maybe the Celtics (if rumors were true) were not willing to give up the Nets 2017 draft pick they hold the rights to. George was no guarantee in signing a contract extension. Boston would have lost the pick (most likely a pick no lower than fourth) plus they would have lost George and whatever combination of players they gave away.
The Celtics are a young team. They are a team that may need to take a few playoff lumps before earning their spot on top of the hill. It happened with the Detroit Pistons in the 80’s while battling the Celtics. Then it was Michael Jordan‘s Bulls that had to wait. LeBron James and his first tour with the Cavs had their battles. Even the Golden State Warriors, before going the “buy a star” route, was a homegrown bunch.
Championships can be won with a couple of stars surrounded by journeymen and other spare parts.
It might not happen this season, but this Boston team is being built to sustain a multi-year run at success. Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford are big reasons why. And their teammates, despite various inconsistencies, are rounding into a force to be reckoned with.
Is this team built for a deep playoff run? Time will tell, but for now, trust in the system. And have a little patience.