It doesn’t sound like Danny Ainge is too impressed with this season’s buyout market.
There aren’t many worthwhile names currently available, so perhaps the Celtics’ apparent lack of interest shouldn’t be too surprising, but Ainge’s response Thursday to a question about the buyout market suggests Boston’s roster might not change much, if at all, before the NBA playoffs.
?If we see a move that?ll help us, then we?ll do it, sure,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.” “Just because guys are available on the buyout market and there?s people that average points, it doesn?t mean it makes your team better.
“We?ve been through this many, many years, and I think that often times the buyout market and the names on the back of the jerseys are people hoping — and fans and coaches — that we?re getting a player of a year or two or three years before, and we?re not getting what we really need, which is defensive presence, guys that know our system and guys that know what we are. ? I think our team and our depth is shaping up pretty good.”
The Celtics have played well recently — even with Kemba Walker battling a knee injury — largely because Jayson Tatum has reached a new level. They’re not without their flaws, though. Boston still could use help in the frontcourt and some additional scoring punch off the bench.
Fortunately for the C’s, Walker’s injury doesn’t sound serious. When he’s healthy, Marcus Smart can shift back to the bench, bolstering that unit, while Robert Williams’ impending return could go a long way toward stabilizing Boston’s center rotation.
?This is the same kind of thing I remember on our team in the 80s. It was like, ?We need bench scoring.? It was like, ?No, you don?t.? Not when you have five starters that are scoring 120 points,” Ainge said. “A lot of teams put their second-best player off the bench, or their third-best player off the bench — like a Manu Ginobili as an example. But I think that that?s always overrated, bench scoring. I think depth is important, but you need to have guys that fit into their roles.?
Basically, the Celtics will lean heavily on their top five players — Walker, Tatum, Smart, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward — come playoff time, and Ainge is confident the rest of the roster is good enough to supplement that core.
Sorry again to anyone hoping the Celtics reunite with Isaiah Thomas.