We've already seen Danny Ainge make two trades this season. Every indication is that he's open to all possibilities. Even moreso this year than in years past. Every rumor points to the Celtics being ready, willing, and even eager to deal.
But with the trade deadline just days away, there's been an eerie radio silence. Not just with the Celtics, but across the entire league.
Trade talk at All-Star weekend has been "as slow as it's been in a long time," said one executive who has not received a single phone call. A lot of teams have made it known which players they are open to moving, but the problem is finding trade partners. Very few teams are willing to part with premium draft picks or take on future salary, which are the two key drivers for trades.
It sounds like each GM has let other GMs know exactly what they have to offer and what they are looking for (in general terms). So the chess board has been set up and pieces have been moved into position. It seems, though, that there isn't a lot of eagerness to make the first decisive move.
Perhaps everyone is waiting on one or two key pieces to move first. Maybe they are simply waiting till the deadline in order to capitalize on someone's panic move. Or maybe, just maybe, there just aren't a lot of matches out there.
If Ainge only wants more draft picks and everyone is holding onto them with white knuckles, then maybe there isn't a deal out there that Danny wants to make. Maybe he'll settle for cap space, but maybe not. And who's to say that he can even get cap space considering the increased penalties for teams going over the tax threshold?
With all that said, all it takes is for one deal to go down and sometimes there's a cascading waterfall that occurs shortly after. Also, the bulk of the trading does happen within 36 hours of the deadline. Basically we're just one Woj-bomb away from things picking up again. So stay tuned as usual.