Why Celtics Haven’t, And Probably Won’t, Sign Buyout-Market Free Agent

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Mar 6, 2020

The Boston Celtics appear increasingly likely to pursue success with their current roster.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge explained to the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett on Thursday that Boston hasn’t signed any free agents from the NBA buyout market because his experience has taught him such players rarely recapture the form they demonstrated at earlier stops in their career. The Celtics will host the Utah Jazz on Friday with somewhat of a skeleton crew, but the injury bug, other teams’ willingness to sign players from the buyout market and vocal calls for him to do the same won’t necessarily push Boston in that direction.

“It’s my impression that they’re rarely as good as people think they are,” Ainge told Bulpett. “A lot of people, including myself and coaches and players, think that a player is still what he was two or three years prior or that he can return to a time of (when he was a) better player. But there’s always a reason why players are available.”

Although some NBA observers believe the Celtics should pursue a player like ex-Boston star Isaiah Thomas, Ainge stressed last week on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” the Celtics would target a player they believe will help improve them defensively. After all, Ainge told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach earlier this week he’s happy with the team’s place as the “fourth- or fifth-rated scoring team in the NBA.”

So while the Denver Nuggets have signed Troy Daniels, the Los Angeles Lakers added Markieff Morris and Dion Waiters, the Los Angeles Clippers brought on Reggie Jackson and the Houston Rockets recruited Jeff Green, the Celtics will do what they believe is right and rely on their current group to compete in the Eastern Conference playoffs with the hopes of reaching, and perhaps winning, the NBA Finals.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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