Tom Thibodeau: Danny Ainge ‘Not Afraid’ Of Celtics’ Rebuilding Challenge

Tom ThibodeauBOSTON — Brad Stevens, Rajon Rondo and the rest of the Boston Celtics might not realize it, but they could be ticketed for great things in the not-so-distant future.

Despite the difficulties of a 50-loss season and a four-game losing streak, the Celtics aren’t headed down a long-term path of ineptitude, according to someone who is intimately familiar with the team’s last rebuilding effort. Current Chicago Bulls head coach and former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau┬áreturned to TD Garden on Sunday and said, surprisingly, that he likes what he sees from this Celtics squad.

“I think the future’s bright,”┬áThibodeau said. “You have great ownership, great management. Brad is a great coach. You have a guy like Rondo to build around. You’ve got some good, young players. Danny (Ainge) has been through it a few times now. The one thing about Danny, he’s not afraid. He’ll do it through the draft. He’ll do it through trades. I think people have to be patient.”

Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, could have a busy summer ahead of him. The Celtics have two first-round draft picks, one of which is likely to be a relatively high lottery pick, with some $15 million potentially coming off the books.

Yet while Thibodeau didn’t have t0 endure the Celtics’ 2006-07 campaign, when they went 24-58 and suffered a franchise-record 18-game losing streak, he was around for the one-year turnaround the very next season. He knows circumstances can change quickly, particularly when Ainge is involved with a satchel full of young assets and low outside expectations.

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