Listen to everything. Believe nothing.
For the moment, Danny Ainge says that he's "content" with his roster and no deal is "imminent" but...
The trade deadline is Feb. 21 and Ainge has been known to shake up his roster with stunning moves, such as the acquisition of Green and Nenad Krstic for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson in February 2011. Ainge said no such impact deal is imminent.
"I think over the next five weeks a lot will be told," he said. "I feel like we don’t have any glaring needs when we’re playing the way we’re playing. Everyone’s playing their role; whether they’re playing well all the time is not as much of a point if they are accepting a role and giving an honest day’s worth of work."
Reading quotes and listening to Danny Ainge talk is always amusing to me. He strikes me as a guy who's nature is to be an honest guy who will "give it to you straight." Yet his job requires him to withhold information, skirt around the truth, and sometimes outright lie. Thus is the nature of NBA trade rumor season. Everyone has an agenda and nobody is going to give you the full story until well after the fact.
Still, there's always nuggets of information that you can gather from interviews like this and so as a rumor monger I enjoy looking for hints and specks of gold in the sifter.
I think his "next five weeks" comment is a clear signal that they are (as expected) always looking and (as you'd imagine) they would like more than 5 games of evidence before they declare that this team is a Championship contender.
He says there are no "glaring needs" but qualifies it with "when we are playing the way we're playing." Well, when you win 5 in a row, there are no glaring needs, no. Does that mean there won't be a glaring need in the near future? Or that there isn't one just below the surface that will only take a low tide to expose?
Later in the article he talks about not needing anyone to come in and sit at the end of the bench to add more depth. That sounds like someone who's justifying the dropping of two players - one of whom was a second round draft pick - to save some money and give the team roster flexibility for a large trade if need be. It also sounds like they won't be calling up Kenyon Martin any time soon either.
By the way, I suppose if you are really willing to look cloak-n-dagger, I will point out that this interview was conducted by Gary Washburn who also turned in a separate article where he says that the team needs a bench scorer.
What the Celtics need is a younger, more reliable scorer off the bench that can allow Pierce and Garnett to rest and, as they did Friday, power the club in the fourth quarter. That was supposed to be Lee and Terry, but they have proven to be streaky scorers who are more of a supplement.
Just a writer's opinion or perhaps something he picked up off the record and wanted to put into a column to sound smart? Take it from someone that does a similar (though very different) job. Chances are very good that his 2nd column was just a thought piece, but don't bet against the latter either. Just food for thought.
These are all just data points in the larger picture. With our eyes we can see that the Celtics could use an upgrade in the frontcourt depth. If Jason Terry and someone else (Lee, Green, Sullinger) could give us more consistent production off the bench, we'd probably be just fine. If they are still up and down, then maybe we do need another bench scorer - regardless of position. We've kind of needed a backup point guard for the last who-knows-how-many years. Those are just the fine-tuning thoughts too.
There's always a chance that Danny Ainge could indeed pull of a blockbuster trade. I would be disappointed but not overly surprised if he dealt Paul Piecre or Rajon Rondo. I kind of hope that Ainge can pull off one of those lopsided "are you kidding me?" trades that seem to only work in fan-boy trade machine ideas but somehow occur from time to time in the real NBA. Like Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, and filler for Josh Smith or something like that. But I'm not holding my breath either (especially with Atlanta's current record and place in the standings).
Usually "fair" trades are hated by both sides because value was given up by each team. And a "fair" trade doesn't always work out for both teams due to fit and circumstance (see the Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins trade).
So what does any of this really mean? Likely little and less, but it is always fun to read the tea leaves and pretend to predict the future. So fire up the trade machine and propose some trades and pick apart other people's trade ideas. Because that's what we do here around this time of year.