If the right deal isn't there, you don't make a deal. It really is that simple.
Ainge said he came close to completing several deals on Thursday, but the Celtics ultimately reconvened at practice with the same team with which they entered the All-Star break. The deadline came and went without a ripple. "At the end of the day," Ainge said, "I think we’re in a better position by not doing any of the deals that were brought to our table."
Sure, there was a window of opportunity to get better and perhaps the team could have made a step in the right direction by over-paying a bit for someone that may or may not have been a good long term option. But when Ainge weighed the pros and cons of each deal, he didn't find any that were worth it and he walked away satisfied with what he has right now.
"I know the risks were more than we were willing to do," Ainge said. "That’s why we didn’t do any deals, obviously. I think the contract length and security definitely plays a factor into it and what sort of risks you are taking. We also feel like there are other opportunities to have more security in what we are doing and what deals we are making. We are not in the business of making a 27-game gain for a long-term price to pay."
"People around the league respect our team, respect our roster and we do too," Ainge said. "We have a lot of good solid young players. We have a lot of players on good contracts and the league knows that. So a lot of people tried to get those from us. At the end of the day, we’re in a better position not to have done any of the deals that were brought to our table."
Letting this window of opportunity pass by isn't the worst thing either, because in a few months we'll be into the offseason and we'll have many of the same opportunities and probably a lot more. Just because some big names were rumored to be available this week doesn't mean that the teams were all that serious about making a fair trade.
According to Herald sources, the Celtics did check on the availability of just about every major star, which is par for the course for most teams -- though in the case of the C’s they had the currency in picks and players to lessen the ‘are-you-kidding-me?’ factor. Said one league exec, "It’s like they took the All-Star roster and used it as Match.com."
You know that the Celtics are going to continue pushing for high level talent and checking in on every top talent guy in the league.
"I think this summer they will revisit the Al Horford situation," said Blakely. "He will be an unrestricted free agent and the cost that it will take to land him this summer, it will cost you in terms of actual dollars, but in terms of assets it won’t cost you anything. That is why Al Horford, more than any of the other guys that we’ve mentioned is a very viable option for the Boston Celtics."
And yes, don't be too surprised if we revisit the Kevin Love possibility once again. Some habits are hard to break.