Welcome to the offseason! The Celtics front office has been gearing up for this for weeks with platitudes, propaganda, and pleasing promises of potential pyrotechnics. Of course you can't really believe any of it, at least not at face value.
You see, it isn't Danny Ainge's job to tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (so help him Pierce). His job does include leveraging his assets through the media while placating a paying customer with promises of future potential.
So with that in mind, I thought I'd put on my special blogger goggles and decipher Danny's words into plain English. Results may vary.
He was asked if anybody on the team was off limits. "No, we're in a situation where we can't be. And I would say that's the case most years," Ainge said. "I tell all the players, even the great ones - Paul and KG - it's my job to make the Celtics better. And if somebody does something and makes an offer that makes us look a lot better in the long-term and short-term, I have to look at them. But there's players that I anticipate being here and I'm not as actively pursing to trade in trades than others. But yeah, nobody can be completely off limits."
Translation: Are you kidding me? We won 25 games! Everyone is for sale! If you want Rondo, you'll have to pay up, but yeah, I'd trade him in a heartbeat if I found decent value. So far I haven't gotten what I've wanted. But I'll sure be making calls around the league, regardless of what I might say publicly. I will also act all indignant when rumors pop up, even if they are based in reality. When pressed on the matter, I will use technicalities and semantics to provide plausibility - like "I haven't made any phone calls about Rajon Rondo" (because they all called me when I sent out that group text).
On the pressure to get better quickly so Rajon Rondo will want to stay when he becomes a free agent in 2015: "Listen, there’s no one person that’s more important than the whole organization. We need to be good because we all want to be good. I want my coach to stay. I want Jeff Green to want to be here. I want free agents that are out there looking at us play to want to play here. I want fans to want to come to the game. You know, everybody wants to win, but not just for one player, not just for one person. We all want to win and that’s what we are trying to accomplish."
Translation: We'll certainly try to land Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, and anyone else that could be the next generation of KG and Ray Allen. If we can win now, that's better for sales and better for everyone.
If that falls through though, we won't hesitate to use Rondo to get even more draft picks and potential players to use next year or the following summer in another trade. Everyone. Is. For. Sale. I ain't playin'. Ask KG and Pierce.
"Avery had a good season. I’ve seen improvement in Avery this year, and the biggest issue with Avery has just been health. He plays hard, and he’s had some injuries, but none of them are injuries that should prevent him from becoming a great player."
Translation: Here's my negotiation strategy. I'm going to mention the word "injuries" every time his name comes up for the next 2 months. Let's see how that impacts the market.
"I think that this has been a transition year for us. I think Jeff had a good year. Jeff has been consistently a very good 3-point shooter and very good in transition offense throughout his whole career, and I think that he got even better at that this year and he got more versatile. He shot the ball over the 3-point line, he shot the 3 off the dribble, things that we wanted and we encouraged him to do to expand his game. He became more of a focal point of the offense, and he had his ups and downs with that, but I think his game is complete and I think that Jeff is improving as a player. I think he still has a lot of growth still left in his game, and I think he's going to have a better year next year than he had this year."
Translation: How much would you pay for this fine specimen of an NBA player? He's been known to beat the Miami Heat almost singlehandedly! How much would that be worth to a team? 4 draft picks? 5? Before you answer, look at all the wonderful things he can do. He's like a Swiss Army Knife of talents. Now, what would you say if I told you he was available right now, for the low, low price of 1 first round draft pick??? But wait, there's MORE! If you act now, I'll throw in a 7 foot monster center Vitor Faverani for absolutely free! Act now while supplies last.
We always are trying to make fireworks.
Translation: I just keep calling and calling and calling those GMs. Restraining orders are just minor obstacles. I got KG just by pestering McHale throughout a golf game. I think his exact words were "FINE, you can have him if you just stop sending me texts, emails, voicemails, and singing telegram clowns. I HATE clowns!" A week after the trade happened, I sent him an fruit basket with another trade proposal. I love my job. Watch me mess with Presti, Morey, and Hollinger all at the same time. Hey Mike, can you get me the name of Phil's yoga instructor? (Manic laughing)
This is going to be a very interesting offseason, I can feel it.