In his weekly conversation at 98.5, Ainge cleared the air on several topics. He mentioned that there were a few directions the team could go in in order to acquire more assets and that some of the potential moves centered around players that haven't been necessarily mentioned in trade rumors (re: Kris Humphries, Jerryd Bayless, Joel Anthony, and Keith Bogans perhaps, Gerald Wallace please!) and he kinda scolded the media for generating them.
The fact that Ainge has already made two trades this season adds to that. But he insists they aren't taking part in a fire sale today.
"So we have nothing going right now," Ainge said. "Unless something at the deadline - somebody meets our demands or we change our views and meet someone else's demands then something can always get done. But typically everyone is posturing all the way up to the very last minute before they cave on some of the deals, so you just never know. We're not panicking. We don't feel pressured to have to do something right now. We're only going to do deals that we think are good deals."
He also wanted to set the record straight on two fronts: 1) he has no intention on trading Rajon Rondo and 2) he hinted at larger moves in June or July. He said:
"I've said before there was one time in eight years that there was something that I would say was a very real possibility and it didn't happen. The same thing happened with Paul Pierce there was one time. If it would have happened, how would that have changed our franchise? We're sort of glad that it didn't happen. I remember Red [Auerbach] used to always say, 'Sometimes the best deals that you make are the ones you don't make.' So listen, we're listening to offers about everybody. That's my job, to know the value around the league of every one of our players. But I think everybody knows what we've talked enough about Rondo and what we think about him."
It is important to make a move this summer because we need to give Rondo an incentive to stick around in 2015.— CelticsBlog (@celticsblog) February 20, 2014
Jeff nailed it with that tweet. With Rondo in a contract year, Danny will have to convince Rajon that Boston will be a contender while he's in his prime. Regardless of what happens in the next five hours, he'll have the assets, draft picks, and cap space to surround #9 with talent this summer, just like Ainge did back in 2007 by adding Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to Paul Pierce. Mid-season trades are usually crafted by teams trying to make a run at a title and they'll pick apart teams out of the race looking to shed salary and improve their draft prospects. Franchise-shifting deals are more likely to happen in the off-season when teams have a chance to take stock of what they have and generate a plan for the following year. Rookies and sophomores will have some time to work on their game, expiring contracts will be a little more expire-y, and a whole new draft class--especially this one--will bring all new hope to their lottery teams.
Hearing Celtics will have some smaller "call us back if the bigger things don't work out" options today.— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) February 20, 2014
This is pure speculation, but that could mean deals involving Pau Gasol to the Suns, whatever Cleveland decides to do with Luol Deng, or Kenneth Faried's fate in Denver. Brandon Bass, Kris Humphries, and Jeff Green could fit into a lot of those situations, but when Ainge hints to smaller things, my guess is that it means in the expiring contract range like Bayless and Bogans.