Morning sports update: What David Griffin had to say about negotiating with Danny Ainge over Anthony Davis

"He's not going to pull much over on me anyway from that standpoint."

Danny AInge
Danny Ainge at a Celtics press conference in June, 2018. David L Ryan/Globe Staff

The Bruins won the decisive Game 7 against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at TD Garden, 5-1. Boston advances to play the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second round of the playoffs.

Sean Kuraly gave the Bruins crucial insurance goal during the third period with an exceptional individual effort:

On a decidedly less triumphant front, the Red Sox dropped a doubleheader at home on Monday to the Tigers. Chris Sale struck out 10 in the first game but it wasn’t enough in a 7-4 loss.  Boston then dropped the second game 4-2 despite a first career home run from newly-promoted rookie infielder Michael Chavis.

David Griffin thinks he knows Danny Ainge: One of the many NBA subplots heading beyond the current season is the future of Pelicans superstar center Anthony Davis. It’s expected that Davis will be dealt in the coming months, as he reportedly demanded a trade earlier in 2019.

The Celtics – possessors of many trade-able assets – are likely bidders in any potential scenario. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has a history of pulling off one-sided trade wins. But newly appointed Pelicans executive  David Griffin (who was GM of the Cavaliers from 2014-2017) thinks he has a read on Ainge, given their history.

“This is something that’s kind of funny, but I was Danny’s video guy, his assistant video guy actually, when Danny was the head coach in Phoenix,” Griffin said during an interview on ESPN’s “The Jump.”

“He was a person that I think had a really big impact upon my ability to actually get into scouting in the first place,” Griffin recalled of his NBA life during the ’90s (when Ainge was head coach of the Suns).


“He called me ‘freak,'” Griffin recalled. “He still calls me ‘freak.’ We make fun of each other rather often. His nickname in our building was known to all as well.”

(Griffin wouldn’t reveal what Ainge’s nickname was.)

On the subject of Davis, Griffin was confident in getting a fair deal.

“He’s not going to pull much over on me anyway from that standpoint,” said Griffin.

Here’s his full quote on what he expects from Ainge’s negotiating style on Davis:

I think to some degree you’re mindful of what his tact is, right? You’re very mindful if you’re doing this, right? You’re very aware of what everyone’s tact is and the negotiating tactics and ploys that somebody might utilize — you’re going to be aware of that. Danny’s not unique in that way that he’s got a very specific style. What makes the situation with Danny unique is we have the kind of relationship where we can really call each other on all that nonsense. Sort of, “this is what it looks like.” I think because we have that ability it makes any conversation we would have along the way a fruitful one. I really don’t anticipate anything happening any time in the near term.

Trivia: The Bruins have now played the Maple Leafs in three Game 7 situations over the last six years. Boston has won each time. What was the last Game 7 the Bruins won that didn’t come against Toronto? (Check the bottom of the article for the answer).

Hint: Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored two goals, but Tuukka Rask was not in net for the Bruins.

More from Boston.com:

A fourth-liner stepped up: Boston Globe columnist Kevin Paul Dupont opened his summary of Sean Kuraly’s Game 7 performance with an apt description:

Sean Kuraly can do a lot of things, most of them usually 10-12 paragraphs short of a headline, which is the life of fourth-line forwards. Card-carrying members of the fourth-line brotherhood of hockey anonymity punch in for duty, all smiles and elbows and sandpaper, and don’t dare flirt with the dream of being the night’s hero.

Liverpool is coming back to Fenway: One of the best teams in the world will be at Fenway Park this summer. Liverpool Football Club will return to Boston for the third time since 2012 on July 21 in a preseason friendly against Spanish side Sevilla. Liverpool are currently in a hotly contested race for the Premier League title, and will face Barcelona in the Champions League semifinal (the first leg of which kicks off on May 1). [The Boston Globe]

Marshawn Lynch is reportedly retiring (again):


On this day: In 2004, the Patriots selected defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and tight end Ben Watson in the first round of the NFL draft. New England, coming off its second Super Bowl win, was in a position of strength possessing multiple first rounders. And only four days earlier, Bill Belichick traded one of the team’s two second-round picks for Bengals running back Corey Dillon.

New England owned two first round picks thanks to the Drew Bledsoe trade from 2002. Originally a 2003 pick conveyed by the Bills, Belichick traded it to the Ravens that year for an ’04 first rounder. The deal had been contingent on the Cardinals – owners of back-to-back first round picks – not selecting quarterback Kyle Boller. Arizona passed on the Cal quarterback.

“Thank God for the Cardinals,” Ernie Adams told Michael Holley of the plan. “When you need them to f**k it up, they f**k it up.” The Ravens made the deal, trading the eventual Wilfork pick to New England along with a 2003 second rounder so that they could take Boller (who would never throw more than 13 touchdowns in an NFL season).

Wilfork, meanwhile, would play 11 seasons in New England. His tenure was bookended by Super Bowl wins. Watson – whose total of 48 still ranks among the highest Wonderlic scores ever – is reportedly considering playing another year in the NFL at age 38.

Daily highlight: Damian Lillard hit a (heavily contested) step-back 37-foot three to win the series against the Thunder.

One more angle of the shot, in slow motion:

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Dame called game. 👋

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Trivia answer: The Vancouver Canucks (to win the 2011 Stanley Cup)