The Boston Celtics have plenty of assets at their disposal as the NBA’s Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches, and Danny Ainge isn’t afraid to use any of them.
The Celtics’ president of basketball operations made an appearance Thursday on WEEI’s “Dale & Holley” and explained that no player on Boston’s roster, even All-Star Isaiah Thomas or budding young guard Marcus Smart, is untouchable.
“There’s obviously a lot that I don’t want to touch, more than others,” Ainge said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “Realistically, until we get to a point where we’re competing for a championship, we can’t have a mentality that we won’t listen to every conversation and every idea.”
That includes entertaining offers for the cream of the Celtics’ bountiful draft pick crop: the unprotected 2016 first-round pick of the Brooklyn Nets, who currently own the NBA’s third-worst record. But Ainge isn’t ready to just hand that key piece away.
“Sure. The Brooklyn pick could be had for the right (price),” Ainge said. “It’s going to be a costly price, as it would be for some of our best players. Look, we’re not looking to trade the Brooklyn pick, but at the same time, I could certainly see some things that we would do for the Brooklyn pick. And they wouldn’t be taking risks.”
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index projects the Nets pick as having a 15 percent chance of being the top overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, a 45.2 percent chance of being in the top three and a 91.7 percent chance of being in the top five. Ainge, of course, knows all this, and admitted it’d probably take a star player in his 20s for him to give up that chance.
“We value (the Brooklyn pick),” Ainge said. “Even the chance, even a small chance to get a very talented player is worth (keeping the pick) because you have some chance. … It would have to be, certainly, a very good player.
“And also it probably wouldn’t be someone in their 30s. That would have to be a good young player because again, even if we had a 5 percent or a 10 percent or a 15 percent chance at one of the top picks in the draft, that’s worth keeping.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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