Danny Ainge isn’t done.
This isn’t a breaking revelation, but a reminder Ainge continues to look to add a little more scoring depth, either in the form of Lou Williams from the Clippers or Tyreke Evans from the Grizzlies, as reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
According to two Western Conference sources, the Celts are still in pursuit of Lou Williams and Tyreke Evans. They have had discussions regarding others, but those two appear to be the main targets as the C’s look to add scoring off the bench.
The key in each of these cases is how much will be required to make a deal. The Celts are said to be willing to part with assets, but Ainge seems to be again holding the line on what he believes is proper value. The strategy has frustrated other clubs and a percentage of the fan base, but it doesn’t appear to be changing.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN said on his latest podcast that the Celtics are willing to move Marcus Smart as part of a package.
While all trade rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, that is especially true with Boston. Ainge and staff are the masters of misdirection and moving teams through rumors — they are the cold-war era Russians of misinformation in the NBA.
That said, Boston believes it can challenge and beat Cleveland this season — Hayward or not — and it would make sense to add depth for that run.
Both the Clippers and Grizzlies have been asking for a first rounder for their players. The Celtics have those picks but Ainge has been hesitant to use them. Both Williams and Evans are in the last year of their contracts and will be free agents this summer, however, if a team trades for Williams they get his Bird Rights for the next contract (Evans, on a one-year deal, does not have those).
The sense around the league is the Clippers will get a first for Williams, who is a proven sixth man (he is the current leader in the Sixth Man of the Year race again) and because teams can use his Bird rights to re-sign him. With Evans, other teams have yet to offer a first, and this is likely to drag out until the deadline (would Memphis eventually take the Emanuel Mudiay and a second offer from Denver?).
Whatever happens, always keep