Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics got their first gold star this summer, convincing Al H0rford to join their solid young core. That was step one in returning Boston to contender status (well, probably step two, hiring Brad Stevens was step one), and it has worked when Horford has been healthy — they are 5-2 in games he plays this season. They are vastly better when he is on the court.
But if they want to challenge Cleveland, Boston needs another star player.
That Ainge is hunting for said star is about as big a secret as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s breakup. That the Celtics have the picks and young players to make an enticing offer to any team who decides to move a superstar is also common knowledge — if a superstar is put on the block Boston’s assets move it to the front of the line.
But if you want more confirmation, here is Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
From all indications speaking to team sources around the league, Danny Ainge is still after the major trades the C’s president of basketball operations knows are needed. And no doubt he’s loving each story calling the 2017 draft one of the deepest and most talent-laden in many years, understanding that such talk could raise the value of the Nets’ pick that can be theirs.
The problem isn’t Ainge being willing, rather it is who is available? So far the Kings continue to rebuff calls about DeMarcus Cousins. The idea that Chicago would move Jimmy Butler was more fantasy than reality from the start, and it’s certainly not happening now that the Bulls are playing well. Washington is a year away (at least) from starting to think about breaking up John Wall and Bradley Beal. It’s hard to imagine Larry Bird trading Paul George. Doc Rivers isn’t breaking up the Clippers’ core with them playing well.
And so it goes, with Ainge trying to be patient and the fan base feeling impatient. Welcome to life in Boston.