The Boston Celtics made no moves at the NBA trade deadline which has fans wondering what direction the team is going in.
The bottom line is that Celtics fans were teased for weeks with rumors flourishing around All-Stars like Jimmy Butler and Paul George coming to Boston and left disappointed when the team didn’t even make a minor move to address their rebounding need. Players such as Nerlens Noel went to Dallas and P.J. Tucker went to their Atlantic Division rivals, the Toronto Raptors. Both deals wouldn’t have cost the Celtics much at all.
More from Boston Celtics
- 3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 Season
- Blake Griffin Angling Hard to Re-Sign With Celtics
- Game-by-Game Predictions for the Celtics’ 2023-24 In-Season Tournament Schedule
- Kristaps Porzingis’ Foot Injury is a Problem Despite Celtics’ Optimism
- Marcus Smart, Grant Williams and Ime Udoka all Returning to Boston on 2023-24 Schedule
So, with all the rumors and speculation now evaporated into another disappointing trade deadline, what did Celtics president of basketball operations have to say about the lack of movement made by his team? Well, much of the same.
Speaking to the media Thursday, Ainge said the team tried, but nothing was “good enough” for the team to pull the trigger.
"“We had a lot of conversations about things that we could do to improve our team but nothing that was good enough to do,” Ainge said via the Boston Herald. “It’s hard to say and I think it takes two teams and a lot of times we don’t know how close. A lot of times it is very easy to tell but [sometimes] teams are very far apart. A lot of discussion, good conversation and a lot of rumors that were true and a lot of rumors that were not true.”"
Linked to players like George, Butler and Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, Ainge and the Celtics had the assets (draft picks, young players and veterans) to make a splash. As the team with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, any one of those players would’ve brought them closer to competing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
At the same time, Ainge’s challenge was finding the right deal that would allow his team to improve the remainder of this season and a contender down the road. Ainge’s decision to stand pat may have angered many Boston Celtics fans for now, but it may turn out to be a great decision once the offseason and NBA free agency rolls around.
As of now, Ainge said the team is preparing to battle it out as they are with health being their biggest gain heading into the second half of the season.
The outcome is that we have a team that is getting ready to head to Toronto, the same team we’ve had since training camp,” Ainge said. “A team that is very close to being healthy.”