Well the trade deadline came and went, and, much the chagrin of some of the green teamers out there, the Celtics failed to make any moves. I am here to say however, that despite what some of my colleagues on the site have said, this is not necessarily a bad thing, and, in fact, may be the best possible outcome for the C’s.
Now if we are being honest here, the Celtics are not going to win this year. Can they get to the Eastern Conference Finals? Maybe. But to say that if this team had made a move at the deadline that they would be title contenders is a bit out there. Even with another piece, this team is still a couple years out from putting together a legitimate championship run. So to make a panic move before the deadline would have been a mistake.
The rumors leading up to the trade deadline mostly consisted of the Celtics landing a big man. The three top candidates were Kevin Love, Al Horford, and Dwight Howard. Now with the exception of Al Horford, I personally would not have wanted the Celtics to have given up anything in exchange for these players, and even Horford can be acquired next year in free agency.
I mean, Love is no more than a soft power forward who takes way too many threes and plays a style of defense that would make James Harden proud, and Howard is a locker room disease and one of the most mentally weak players I have ever seen. Neither of these players embody the heart of this Celtic team, and to take an even semi-questionable deal would have been an ill-advised move.
Till this point, Ainge has been praised for what he has done for this franchise, and to turn on him now for something such as this does not make any sense to me. Winning franchises in this league are built off of patience, not off trigger-happy moves. Look at Golden State, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City. These teams have built through the draft, and used strategic signings (with the exception of Aldrige) in order to build their success.
There are teams, such as Cleveland, who have relied on big signings and trades, but most of Cleveland’s success has been based off of the play of LeBron James, who, even though I hate to say it, is a once-in-a-generation-type of player. All the other teams who have tried to build through free agency, such as Houston, the Clippers, the Knicks, have all seen failure, and often crippling team chemistry.
As of right now, this Celtic team is playing great team basketball, and, despite what some critics have said, they are not overachieving. Since the acquisition of Isaiah Thomas, the C’s have been one of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference. They are not a passing faze. With the coaching of Brad Stevens, and the personnel mind of Danny Ainge, this team has turned into a future contender trending in the right direction.
So to break up this young core, which has been meshing so well over the past year, in order to obtain a player who is known for not playing team basketball (Love and Howard) would be a true error on Ainge’s part.
What Ainge did was the right thing to do. He showed patience when patience was needed, and didn’t force a trade that didn’t need to be made. I am confident that what happened yesterday, or what didn’t happen yesterday for that matter, will ultimately help the Celtics in the long. Danny has not led us astray yet, and yesterday does not change anything.