Danny Ainge dislikes in-season public trade requests: ‘It’s not what the league is about’

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Anthony Davis informed the Pelicans and the public he wouldn’t sign a contract extension with New Orleans and wanted to be traded.

Of course without mentioning Davis specifically, Celtics president Danny Ainge addressed players making those requests public during the season.

Ainge on 98.5 The Sports Hub:

I’m not a big fan of that.

I wish those things didn’t happen. It’s not what the league is about. It’s not what I would do in that same situation. But it is what some people do.

Just because you’re a star player doesn’t mean that you’re surrounded by the right people that can put you in a position to win. I understand where players are coming from. It’s a short career. And often times, with 30 teams in the NBA nowadays – I think when, I came into the league, there was 23. And back when the Celtics won lots of championships, there were eight. It’s a different world now. And so the stars are more spread out.

Meanwhile, the Celtics are trying to trade for Davis. Which means they’ll also try to convince Davis to re-sign.

This statement doesn’t strike me as endearing.

If Davis wants to be in Boston, I doubt he’d resent this mild and nuanced criticism. But the timing of Davis’ trade request suggests he doesn’t want to be in Boston. The Celtics can’t trade for Davis with Kyrie Irving on the roster until next summer. If Davis wanted to join Boston, he would have waited until the offseason to ask out. Plus, Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, might also resent Ainge comparing another client, LeBron James, to President Donald Trump.

So, it seems the Celtics were already fighting an uphill battle. And they appear eager to fight it.

It just seems they’re not doing themselves any favors here.