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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Danny Ainge Says He is Open to Trading the Big Three

The Celtics are in trouble.  There is a fine line that NBA teams tread between veteran experience and just plain old.  The Celtics have been flirting with it over the past couple seasons, and if the first 13 games of this season are any indication they may have officially crossed it.  Boston is 5-8 on the year and has lost five of its last six games.  During each of those losses they scored no more than 88 points.  With the exception of Rajon Rondo — who was having a career year but left Wednesday’s game with a wrist injury — the Celtics don’t have much going for them.  That is why Danny Ainge is considering blowing the whole thing up.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, Ainge explained that he does not want the Celtics to have to go through the type of 10-year drought they went through after Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish left in the 1990s.

“(Red Auerbach) had a chance to trade Larry (to Indiana) for Chuck Person and Herb Williams and (Steve) Stipanovich and he had a chance to trade Kevin (to Dallas) for Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins” Ainge explained. “I was like are you kidding? I mean I feel that way now. If I were presented with those kind of deals for our aging veterans, it’s a done deal to continue the success.

“After those guys retired, the Celtics had a long drought. But those (types of fruitful trades) aren’t presenting themselves. In today’s day and age with 30 teams in the NBA, 15 teams know they have no chance of winning a championship. They are building with young players. It’s a different era that we live in. It’s easy to say conceptually but you have to always weigh what are real opportunities.”

In other words, Ainge is open to trading Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, or Kevin Garnett.  The problem is very few teams want players in their condition with their massive salaries.  Ainge insisted he believes the Celtics are playing worse than they actually are, but as the season progresses it is starting to look more and more like they are no longer a championship-caliber team. If an offer presents itself, Ainge needs to pull the trigger.  Otherwise the most excitement Celtics fans will have over the next 5-10 years is going to revolve around ping pong balls.

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