After Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics completed the recent sign-and-trade of Gordon Hayward, that also included the C’s handing over two second-round picks to the Charlotte Hornets, it allowed Ainge the flexibility to do more future maneuvering.
But don’t expect any immediate wheeling and dealing.
With the deal, the Celtics now have a NBA record $28.5 million traded-player exception (TPE) at their disposal, but Boston’s President of Basketball Operations is waiting to see how things play out on the court first before putting the TPE into action.
“We’re not going to go do anything right now,” said Ainge when he appeared on 98.5 The Sport’s Hub Toucher and Rich Monday morning. “Let’s see how this season goes, where we are. We’ll have the ability to improve our team at the trade deadline, and next offseason if not.”
Danny Ainge on @Toucherandrich on Hayward TPE: “We're not going to go do anything right now. … Let’s see how this season goes, where we are. We’ll have the ability to improve our team at the trade deadline, and next offseason if not.”— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) December 1, 2020
Wants to see what young guys can do.
Ainge also mentioned that he wants to give the younger players on the Celtics a chance to emerge and fill roles that Hayward vacated as he left Boston to sign a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets.
While Ainge is standing pat with the TPE, he is using the same approach when it comes to free agency at the moment.
Even with Kemba Walker sidelined to start the new season due to his ongoing knee injury, Ainge didn’t have any plans to bring in a veteran free agent point guard like Isaiah Thomas.
Ainge feels comfortable with the pieces already in place at the guard spot, which includes Marcus Smart, newly-signed veteran Jeff Teague and first-round draft choice Payton Pritchard.
“We’re well-stocked at that position,” Ainge said.
Ainge commented that he wants to see what the younger Celtics can do before making moves with the Hayward TPE.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) December 1, 2020
Ainge also said he's not worried about Kemba Walker. He knows Walker will be back, and called it "an opportunity for Marcus (Smart), Jeff Teague and Payton Pritchard." https://t.co/d4GH4GaAdI