On February 18th, 2021, Danny Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich, “Our roster obviously is not good… if there’s somebody to blame, this is Danny Ainge to blame”
At the time, the Celtics were 14-14, and Ainge said there was still plenty of room for improvement on the roster. When asked about the possibility of making a move, Ainge said, “Right now, the most likely time is right before the trade deadline… That’s the time. Not today because those deals aren’t there today. A lot of teams are still in it. They’re not sellers. In a month from now, there may be a different perspective” (referring to the trade deadline).
Well, a month has passed, and as of 3 pm EST today, so has the trade deadline. And to no surprise, the Celtics didn’t make any groundbreaking moves. This makes no sense to me. Danny Ainge, The General Manager and President of Basketball Operations of the Boston Celtics, who was quoted a little over a month ago saying the roster isn’t good, made just two trades, one of which was just an attempt to get the team under the luxury tax and create roster space.
JEFF TEAGUE, TWO SECOND-ROUNDERS TO MAGIC FOR EVAN FOURNIER
I must admit, I was excited saw Evan Fournier was coming to Boston, and don’t get me wrong, he is a great addition to a team that can use any scoring they can get. Not to mention, Fournier is having a solid season. He is averaging 19.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, certainly an addition the Celtics could use. They also got him on a great trade giving up just two-second round picks and Jeff Teague to acquire Fournier. Yes, they did use $17M of the Gordon Hayward TPE, but the Celtics will have Bird Rights on Fournier and will be able to offer him any contract in the summer. Also, don’t google his last name, trust me it’s disgusting.
DANIEL THEIS AND JAVANTE GREEN TO BULLS FOR MO WAGNER AND LUKE KORNET
This trade was not as exciting, but it makes sense. Theis was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Celtics probably weren’t going to be able to sign him once he hit the open market. In trading Theis, the Celtics were able to get some assets in return as well as create a $5M trade exception. Theis was a great find for the Celtics from an undrafted free-agent turned starter Theis gave Boston his all. Unfortunately for him, his last shot as a Boston Celtic was a missed game-winning three-point attempt. As for the players the Celtics received in this deal, it’s nothing too exciting. Mo Wagner isn’t suiting up for the University of Michigan anymore, and his numbers aren’t very impressive, averaging just 7.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. As for Kornet, he’s nothing crazy either, averaging 2.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 0.3 assists. The players the Celtics received in return are not the focal point of this deal, it’s the money and the roster space for the Celtics, which leads me to my final point.
THE BUYOUT MARKET:
The last chance for the Celtics to acquire some much-needed talent before the off-season will be the buyout market. The Celtics still have some money, as well as roster space if they decide to make a splash in the buyout market. If Danny Ainge meant what he said about the roster needing improvement, the buyout market will be his last chance this season. A market that is full of big men, something the Celtics can certainly use, especially after trading their starting center Daniel Theis. Some names to watch will be…
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Andre Drummond
- Hassan Whiteside
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Otto Porter