No real surprises here, but I'll share this snippet and then I'll read between the lines a bit.
According to a rival general manager, Ainge’s perceived mission is to hold onto his nuclear stockpile of first-round draft picks — nine, possibly 10, in the next five years — and take back as little salary as possible. Anyone from Brandon Bass to Kris Humphries, or maybe both, may not make it to Los Angeles next week. The Celtics’ situation is that fluid. And in the meantime, Ainge’s team yearns to somehow get better.
Combine this with the rumblings from yesterday that Ainge was asking for a first rounder for his players and (in Chris Mannix's opinion) not getting a lot of interest. I wonder if this means that he'll be left with the following choice.
A. Drop the demand for a 1st round draft pick and accept cap space and maybe some lower compensation (2nd rounders or lower level young players) in return.
B. Let the deadline pass and hold onto the players we have with an eye to the summer when they can either be moved for better returns or kept for the long term rebuild process.
Like any good GM, Ainge has in his mind what his players are worth on the market. He may ask for more initially, but in the course of negotiation he'll accept what he thinks they are worth. If he doesn't get that from the other team, he'll pass. Simple as that.
The key here, is does he value his players more than he would value the additional cap space that he could get this summer. Or said another way, is he willing to just offload some of these players purely for cap savings? In a few more days we'll find out.