Timeline: The highs and lows of Danny Ainge’s tenure in the Celtics front office

Danny Ainge spent the last 18 seasons as president of basketball operations for the Celtics. Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Danny Ainge has stepped down after 18 years as president of basketball operations less than 24 hours after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs.

In that span, the Celtics made 15 playoff appearances, seven conference finals, and two NBA Finals, including winning the championship in 2008.

Here’s a look at Ainge’s time in Boston as an executive.

Danny Ainge’s tenure in the Celtics’ front office

May 9, 2003: Ainge is named president of basketball operations.

April 28, 2004: Ainge hires Doc Rivers as head coach.

June 28, 2007: Despite finishing with the second-worst record, the ping pong balls were not kind to the Celtics at the NBA Draft Lottery. The Celtics ended up with the fifth pick, well out of the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, so Ainge went in a different direction, sending the pick — which was used to select Jeff Green — as well as Delonte West and Wally Szczberiak to Seattle for Ray Allen and a second-round pick, which he used to take Glen Davis.


July 31, 2007: Ainge pries Kevin Garnett away from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, and two first-round draft picks. Ainge would add veterans James Posey and Eddie House to the bench in the following weeks.

June 17, 2008: The Celtics capture their 17th championship in franchise history, and first in 22 years, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

June 17, 2010: Playing in the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons, the Celtics lose to the Lakers in seven games.

June 28, 2012: The Celtics select Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo with the 21st and 22nd picks of the draft. The Warriors grab Draymond Green in the second round with the 35th overall pick, while Khris Middleton is taken by the Pistons at 39.


June 24, 2013: Ainge agrees to let coach Doc Rivers leave for the Los Angles Clippers in exchange for a 2015 first-round pick.

June 27, 2013: The Celtics trade up to the 13th pick to draft Kelly Olynyk. Two picks later, the Milwaukee Bucks select Giannis Antetokounmpo. Utah grabs Rudy Gobert with the 27th pick.

June 28, 2013: After a first-round exit from the playoffs, Ainge shipped Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Nets in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans, first-round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and the right to swap 2017 first-rounders — one of the most heavily lopsided trades in NBA history (in favor of the Celtics).


July 3, 2013: Ainge hires Brad Stevens as the next Celtics coach to replace Rivers.

June 23, 2016: Ainge selects Jaylen Brown with the third pick of the NBA draft.

July 2, 2016: Ainge signs Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million deal.

June 19, 2017: After finally getting the right bounce from the ping-pong balls, Ainge ships the No.1 pick to Philadelphia in exchange for the No. 3 pick and a future first-rounder. He selects Jayson Tatum in the draft the following week, while the 76ers take Markelle Fultz.

July 4, 2017: Ainge signs Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $128 million contract.

Aug. 22, 2017: Ainge trades Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick for Kyrie Irving.


July 1, 2019: With Irving reneging on his announcement that he would re-sign with the Celtics and opting to go to Brooklyn, the Celtics sign Kemba Walker to a four-year, $141-million deal.

June 2, 2021: With the Celtics getting bounced from the first round of the playoffs, Ainge announces his retirement.

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