Author Topic: Don't Blame Danny  (Read 2471 times)

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Offline PhoSita

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Don't Blame Danny
« on: February 22, 2013, 09:48:25 AM »



What do we know about what happened before the trade deadline?

- Rondo came up in some rumors, indicating he was shopped, at least to gauge his value.  This probably happened before his injury, though, and the discussions were just reported closer to the deadline.

- The KG to Clips for Jordan and Bledsoe deal was a real possibility.  If KG had waived his no-trade clause, it likely would have happened.

- Danny Ainge shopped Pierce heavily on the day of the trade deadine, but there were no significant offers other than the Humphries / Brooks / 1st package from the Nets.

- Ainge tried hard to get in on the Josh Smith bidding, but didn't have much to offer that the Hawks wanted.  A third team that could facilitate the trade by giving up some younger assets in exchange for Pierce never materialized.

- Bass, Terry, and Green never came up in trade rumors prior to the deadline -- except that Ainge supposedly offered Bass and Green to the Hawks for Josh Smith (sounds like a classic low-ball).

- Courtney Lee's name did come up in a vague rumor involving the Timberwolves (a Brandon Roy salary dump), but the rumor didn't seem to have any legs.

- The Celtics supposedly had interest in Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson, and Tyreke Evans, but those talks never developed into any full blown rumors with specific offers.

- Ainge ended up trading Barbosa and Jason Collins to the Wizards for Jordan Crawford -- essentially a salary dump by the Wizards of a player still on his rookie deal.

- Fab Melo was originally in the Wizards deal, but the Wizards preferred a cheaper veteran expiring contract as filler to a 1st round pick big man with a few years left on a rookie contract.

- In general, teams were unwilling to part with 1st round picks or young, productive players on rookie deals at this year's deadline.  Teams were similarly unwilling to take on significant long term salary, either preserving cap space for summer free agency, or eager to avoid paying the luxury tax in future seasons.

So what now?

As it stands, the Celtics have a well stocked guard rotation, though they still completely lack any true ballhandlers.  The big man rotation is comprised of three players -- KG, Bass, and Wilcox -- unless you count Fab Melo, who hasn't given any impression so far that he's ready to play in the NBA this season.

Barring a major injury to Pierce or Garnett, this team is headed to the playoffs.  Most likely they will be a bottom four seed; the 5th seed is not out of reach, but the 6th seed is probably a more realistic goal considering the team's lack of depth.

Optimistically, this team could keep up the inspired play they've exhibited since Rondo went down and finish the season on a really great run, culminating in a top 3 seed.  A couple of savvy big man pickups from the waiver wire, D-league, or free agency could fortify the front court and set the team up for a nice little run in the playoffs.  An elite defense paired with a streaky but functional offense could make this team tough to beat.

Pessimistically, the post-Rondo high may have just been a mirage created by a soft home-heavy schedule and a lack of scouting material for opponents.  If that's the case, the team might revert to the level of play that characterized the first third or so of the season, in which case they could end up as the 8th seed, or even fail to make the playoffs at all.  A lack of size, rebounding, ball-handling, inside scoring, and overall energy could sink the team quickly, resulting in a painful first-round exit -- something that has yet to happen in the Garnett era.

Was the trade deadline a success or a failure?

This is a matter of perspective.  The fact that KG and Pierce are still on the team could mean that the trade deadline was a rousing success.  Alternatively, the failure of the team to get any long term value in return for its aging and perhaps close-to-retirement stars could be seen as an utter failure.  The inability -- or indifference -- of the team to shed long term salary tied up in role players like Bass, Terry, Green, and Lee could also be viewed negatively.

Regardless of your perspective, it's hard to say that the team significantly addressed any of its short or long term goals at the trade deadline. 

Jordan Crawford, on this team, is probaby something like a poor-man's Barbosa.  He can play 10 minutes a game, or he can play 40.  Either way, he's probably not going to play much defense and he's going to try to score a bunch of points; some nights he'll even manage to do it.  But the team did have to give up Jason Collins to get him. 

While Collins was not very productive, he was the only big man on the team other than Garnett who could be trusted to make defensive rotations, take charges, set hard picks, and defend the rim a little.  His presence will be missed, and contrary to popular belief, it will not be easy to replace him with somebody off the waiver wire / D-league / free agency dung heap.

The team is still very small, and lacking in rebounding, shot blocking, or inside scoring.  The identity of the team and its strengths and glaring weaknesses were not altered at all.  They are who they are; there will be no cavalry coming on the trade winds.

Should we blame Danny?

It is hard to blame Danny Ainge for the lack of moves.  If you look around the league, almost nothing of consequence happened yesterday.  A lot of teams wanted to make moves, but there apparently was not much willingness between various trade partners to make palatable offers.  Perhaps thanks to the new CBA, fewer and fewer GMs are willing these days to offer themselves up as potential suckers. 

It's telling that the most notable trade that happened in the days leading up to the deadline involved two teams exchanging fist-fulls of young players and mid-level veterans, with no picks involved.  That trade, with Thomas Robinson going to the Rockets, was effectively a salary dump for the pathetic, cash strapped Maloofs, owners of the Kings.  Once the Kings move to Seattle and the Maloofs are finally done making decisions for an NBA team, deals like that one will probably be altogether a thing of the past.

What is clear now is that Danny Ainge more or less locked himself into this group last summer.  He gave Kevin Garnett a three year deal at $10 million a season, and to top it off he gave KG a no-trade clause.  He paid what was probably a little bit above market value for Jeff Green and Brandon Bass, and paid mid-level money for Jason Terry and Courtney Lee.  All of those players were signed for 3-4 years. 

Danny knew the details of the new CBA when he made those moves.  He probably could have predicted that none of the free agent signings would be very valuable trade assets, unless one of them had a breakout season, until the last year of their deals when they became expiring contracts. 

He also probably could have predicted that few if any teams would be willing to give up significant future assets in the form of cheap young players, draft picks, and cap relief by way of expiring contracts for aging veterans -- even All-Star caliber ones.

In short, Danny made his bed with this group.  As soon as Garnett agreed to come back, the plan for the off-season was to go all-in to win now.  Danny probably could have gotten different players for less money and on shorter deals, but then the supporting cast would have been much weaker, which would have doomed the next run before it began.  This season was supposed to be the last hurrah, and the next two seasons were supposed to be the price of that last hurrah.  Well, this season has gone horribly awry due to a dreadfully sloppy, inconsistent start and a plague of major injuries. 

It is possible that Ainge may have more freedom to reshape the roster for the future this summer.  KG may finally retire, with the team's future looking murky at best.  Pierce may or may not join him.  On the other hand, we might see virtually the same crew, with a first round rookie and a few minor free agent additions.  We won't know for sure until the summer.  But in all likelihood, the window of opportunity for making a major move to drastically change the look of this team before 2015 has passed.
 
For better or for worse, this is our team.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 01:02:02 PM by PhoSita »
"You're never as good as you think you are, you're never as bad as you think you are, and you're never far from either."

- Brad Stevens, the Philosopher Coach.

Offline PhoSita

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2013, 02:33:04 PM »
*Changed the name of the post to better reflect the contents
"You're never as good as you think you are, you're never as bad as you think you are, and you're never far from either."

- Brad Stevens, the Philosopher Coach.

Offline tarheelsxxiii

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2013, 02:53:37 PM »
We should have a thread dedicated to:

1. listing off all of Ainge's trades and picks
1a. evaluating qualitatively (e.g., the players, more objectively)
1b. evaluating how these decisions were made or these trades came to fruition

2. listing the manner in which Ainge has interacted with the media at each trade deadline since he first starting shopping Rondo
2a. evaluating his professionalism
2b. evaluating how this has affected our team (in the past and going forward)

Then we would have no more need for "It's not Danny's fault we suck right now," or "Danny made some good late round picks a few years ago..." discussions. Maybe enough evidence suggesting Ainge is not a good GM will put the question to bed sooner than later.

Offline Celtics18

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2013, 03:04:03 PM »
TP, Pho, on a well researched and thoughtful post.
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Offline CelticHooligan3

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 03:06:16 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word







Offline tarheelsxxiii

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 03:15:49 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word

This is all I read:
As Danny Ainge’s frantic efforts to trade Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe proved once again the existence of a no-trade clause means about as much to the Celtics president of basketball operations as loyalty does to Bill Belichick. In the end, Ainge could not have traded Garnett anywhere without his consent, but the public and private bind that refusing to accept such a trade would have put Garnett in locally is exactly why Ray Allen put no faith in the no-trade clause he was offered by Ainge before he jumped ship for Miami last offseason.

That makes you question KG's character, not Ainge's? Why should Garnett leave? He was our anchor in our 5 years of relevance. No one played harder or cared more. He defined our culture. Not the monkey that was handed KG by an old friend.

Offline JSD

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 03:17:16 PM »
This was an excellent, well written and entertaining post. TP.

I agree with much of what you said outside of your final disposition, which is essentially, ‘this is our team until 2015 because these types of mid-level contracts are difficult to unload’. I do agree that during the season, while every team is more or less set in terms of finances, that these deals are tough to move. However, this offseason will present a different set of circumstances that I believe allows Ainge ability to significantly change the roster if he chooses to do so.

In the summer teams have money, and once the likes of Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, Detroit, lose out on key free agents, then our guys become attractive to absorb as long as the cost isn’t too high. So I believe Ainge will be able to drastically change the roster if he chooses to do so this summer and could even hit the reset button.

Offline LarBrd33

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 03:20:26 PM »
pretty much nailed it.  The key thing is the KG deal.

#1 - We don't know if the clippers actually would have traded Bledsoe and Jordan.  It sounds like the coach did, but the coach doesn't run the organization.  They were probably offering Bledsoe and Butler or something.  The media is running with rumors as if Bledsoe and Jordan were actually on the table.  We don't know that.

#2 - KG could have retired in the offseason or signed elsewhere and left us empty handed.  That "no-trade" clause was probably key to convincing him to return.  YOu can't be bummed that he blocked the trade... he agreed to a 50% pay cut to return to Boston... not be used as a trade chip.

Offline BballTim

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2013, 03:23:03 PM »
pretty much nailed it.  The key thing is the KG deal.

#1 - We don't know if the clippers actually would have traded Bledsoe and Jordan.  It sounds like the coach did, but the coach doesn't run the organization.  They were probably offering Bledsoe and Butler or something.

  Yeah, there were multiple reports that the Clips didn't want to make the Bledsoe/Jordan offer.

Offline CelticHooligan3

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2013, 03:24:28 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word

This is all I read:
As Danny Ainge’s frantic efforts to trade Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe proved once again the existence of a no-trade clause means about as much to the Celtics president of basketball operations as loyalty does to Bill Belichick. In the end, Ainge could not have traded Garnett anywhere without his consent, but the public and private bind that refusing to accept such a trade would have put Garnett in locally is exactly why Ray Allen put no faith in the no-trade clause he was offered by Ainge before he jumped ship for Miami last offseason.

That makes you question KG's character, not Ainge's? Why should Garnett leave? He was our anchor in our 5 years of relevance. No one played harder or cared more. He defined our culture. Not the monkey that was handed KG by an old friend.





Yes i question what being a "Celtic" means to Garnett. If what Borges says is true it's a selfish move in my opinion. If he's just going to retire at the end of the season then why not do Boston as an organization and its fans a solid by making sure they get nice pieces for the future. Guarantee they would still sign him for a day when he's ready to hang it up like the Sox did with Nomar so he could retire a Celtic. If he just walk off at the end of the year and we got nothing in return yes i will be one Boston Celtics fan that questions his true loyalty to this town.

Offline foulweatherfan

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 03:26:02 PM »
Excellent post.  I believe we would've made the Clips deal, even with Butler or Odom in place of Jordan, but for KG's refusal.  Other than that our options were few and almost entirely bad. 

It's not fun to be stuck in our current position but we have to play the cards we're dealt and those that other GMs were willing to exchange with us.  Staying essentially put seems like it was the best of many unpalatable options.

Offline LarBrd33

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 03:27:08 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word

And how would you have felt about KG's legacy if he retired after Ray signed with Miami?  That's ok...? But taking a paycut to return to Boston (with a no-trade clause attached) on a team that had no realistic chance at a title and mostly wanted to use KG as a mentor for the younger generation... that's bad?... because he SUPPOSEDLY wouldn't agree to a THEORETICAL trade to the Clippers after we tricked him into coming back?

I really hope this didn't play out the way the media is presenting it.  That's pretty disrespectful to KG to trick him into coming back to Boston only to attempt to USE him as nothing more than a trade chip at the deadline.  I'd be pretty disappointed if I were KG and that happened.  It's a [dang] good thing he locked up that no-trade clause when he was debating between returning/fleeing and retiring.

Offline Celtics18

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 03:28:33 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word

That article states that it wasn't KG who nixed the trade, but that the Clippers backed out because he hinted at retirement.

Either way, I'm not mad at KG for "bleeding green until he dies" as he put it.  I'm grateful.
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Offline LarBrd33

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 03:30:53 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word

This is all I read:
As Danny Ainge’s frantic efforts to trade Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe proved once again the existence of a no-trade clause means about as much to the Celtics president of basketball operations as loyalty does to Bill Belichick. In the end, Ainge could not have traded Garnett anywhere without his consent, but the public and private bind that refusing to accept such a trade would have put Garnett in locally is exactly why Ray Allen put no faith in the no-trade clause he was offered by Ainge before he jumped ship for Miami last offseason.

That makes you question KG's character, not Ainge's? Why should Garnett leave? He was our anchor in our 5 years of relevance. No one played harder or cared more. He defined our culture. Not the monkey that was handed KG by an old friend.





Yes i question what being a "Celtic" means to Garnett. If what Borges says is true it's a selfish move in my opinion. If he's just going to retire at the end of the season then why not do Boston as an organization and its fans a solid by making sure they get nice pieces for the future. Guarantee they would still sign him for a day when he's ready to hang it up like the Sox did with Nomar so he could retire a Celtic. If he just walk off at the end of the year and we got nothing in return yes i will be one Boston Celtics fan that questions his true loyalty to this town.
Being a "Celtic" to KG means not abandoning your team for a nicer situation.  He's a leader of men.  This is his team.  He will die in Green.  I'm happy he locked up that no-trade clause... he didn't deserve to bust his tail every day for this organization in some fruitless attempt at a unlikely championship... only to be used to land Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler at the deadline.

KG is the epitome of Celtic pride.  I hope he remains part of this organization long after he retires.  He's everything to this team's culture and philosophy.  I desperately hope his mentality can rub off on the younger generation over this next 3-15 months.

Offline BballTim

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Re: Don't Blame Danny
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 03:33:37 PM »
If Garnett retires at the end of the year honestly i don't know how ill feel about his legacy here if he nixed this trade.




http://bostonherald.com/sports/columnists/2013/02/case_claused_by_kevin_garnett_s_last_word

This is all I read:
As Danny Ainge’s frantic efforts to trade Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe proved once again the existence of a no-trade clause means about as much to the Celtics president of basketball operations as loyalty does to Bill Belichick. In the end, Ainge could not have traded Garnett anywhere without his consent, but the public and private bind that refusing to accept such a trade would have put Garnett in locally is exactly why Ray Allen put no faith in the no-trade clause he was offered by Ainge before he jumped ship for Miami last offseason.

That makes you question KG's character, not Ainge's? Why should Garnett leave? He was our anchor in our 5 years of relevance. No one played harder or cared more. He defined our culture. Not the monkey that was handed KG by an old friend.

  It should make you question the reporter's intelligence. I doubt anybody really thinks that Danny was making "frantic efforts to trade Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers". Also Wilcox supposedly nixed a deal yesterday and PP supposedly has nixed multiple deals over the years even though he doesn't have a no-trade clause. I doubt anyone thinks that either Wilcox or PP were in a public or private bind because of it.

 

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