The Celtics – run by Trader Danny Ainge – entered the season with as much trade speculation as ever.
But off to an impressive 11-3 start, Boston sounds content with its current roster.
Boston has made it clear to anyone who has asked that their core players are absolutely not available. That includes, sources said, both Hayward and Smart, players who have been floated as possible trade chips in the past.
But this report is significant because, if Boston isn’t willing to even engage negotiations, that makes it much more difficult to find that right offer.
Hayward was returning to All-Star form until hurting his hand. Smart is playing incredible defense. They help a Celtics team trying to win now. Hayward (29) and Smart (25) are also young enough to have staying power. Though Hayward can opt out this summer, Boston will have his Bird Rights, and he just chose the Celtics during his last free agency. Smart is locked up a couple additional seasons at a very-reasonable salary.
With trade speculation, the question is always: Why would another team value a player more than his current team does? Perhaps, another team just adores Hayward and Smart so much, it would surrender enough to entice Boston. But we know how the Celtics feel about those two, and that’s why a deal is so unlikely.