The Boston Celtics aren’t going to stand pat while the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors continue to rule the NBA, but they’re not going to give up on what they already have, either.
The Warriors became NBA champions over the Cavs on Monday in their third consecutive meeting in the Finals, confirming once again their status as the teams to beat in the West and East, respectively. And while teams know what they need to do to beat Cleveland and Golden State, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told ESPN’s Zach Lowe that it comes down to whether making the necessary moves is worth it.
“You know where your competition is,” Ainge said. “The formula to become an elite team hasn’t changed. What you’re asking is if Golden State has changed things so that you have no chance.”
Ainge isn’t giving up, but rather he knows where the limit is. As the owners of the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, the Celtics would rather prepare for the long term than mortgage their future and risk not getting much back in return.
“We are definitely not in punt mode,” Ainge told Lowe. “But trading away picks and promising young players for a veteran who might be 5 percent better is not in our plans, either.”
Ainge said he likes chasing the top two teams in the league and will continue to do so even if the Celtics can’t overcome them in the next five seasons, or ever. But at the end of the day, the former Celtics guard subscribes to the Kevin Garnett philosophy that anything is possible.
“Something can happen that nobody foresees,” Ainge said. “I don’t look at it as doom and gloom right now.”
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