Just like last year, Danny Ainge has been busy doing much of his dealing before the arrival of the trade deadline, which comes next Thursday. Boston has made six trades in the past four months, including a whopping four moves in one week back during a stretch from Jan. 9 to Jan. 15.
The player movement has died down in the last month since that incredibly active period, but with the Feb. 19 trade deadline looming, business may pick up again in the next week. On Wednesday morning, Ainge spoke with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub to discuss the team’s hopes leading up to deadline day.
“We’re opportunistic,” Ainge said about the possibility of more trades. “There’s a lot of different things that can happen. I don’t anticipate, because right now we don’t have anything imminent, but you never know what can happen at the trade deadline.”
Despite their numerous dealings this season, the Celtics still have a host of veterans with expiring contracts on their roster that would make ideal trade candidates (Brandon Bass, Marcus Thornton, Tayshaun Prince). All three players earn at least $6.5 million, however, making it somewhat of a challenge for Boston to find a team willing to take on that kind of salary and also send the Celtics back an asset.
Those kind of minor deals are not the only sort the Celtics are interested in, as they have stockpiled enough assets, via draft picks and trade exceptions, to do much more.
“We’re ready,” Ainge said of next week. “We have a lot of bullets in our arsenal right now. We have a lot of assets we can move for a lot of different things and go in a lot of different directions at this point. This is one of those ‘turning points.’”
Unfortunately for Celtics fans looking for more fireworks, it takes two teams to tango and the Celtics may have trouble making the big splash Ainge speaks of.
“There’s not teams that are looking to make those kind of major changes, is my perspective, right now heading into this trade deadline. I’m not sure what may happen,” Ainge said.
The Celtics play their final game before the deadline Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks at the TD Garden.