Celtics ‘Most Likely’ Will Wait To Use Trade Exception, Per Danny Ainge

The $28.5 million TPE is the largest in NBA history


Mar 11, 2021

We hope you didn’t get too excited thinking about the potential of Harrison Barnes, Larry Nance Jr., Jerami Grant or Nikola Vucevic joining the Celtics and putting them over the top.

First, because it doesn’t seem like those players’ respective teams are looking to get rid of them. Also, it’s debatable whether one of those moves alone would be enough for Boston to clinch an NBA Finals berth.

So, despite all the recent trade talk surrounding the Celtics, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says they’ll likely stay put ahead of the March 25 trade deadline.

“I’ve always felt that.” Ainge said Thursday in a radio interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub, discussing the option of waiting until the offseason to use the NBA’s largest-ever trade exception (which he worked out in the aftermath of Gordon Hayward’s decision to leave Boston).

If Ainge has been testing the market, it doesn’t seem anyone available is moving the needle enough to acquire with the $28.5 million TPE. He also insists most of the recent reports linking the Celtics to various players are “not even real.”

“I live in a different world than the world of Twitter,” Ainge said.

That doesn’t mean he’s ruled a midseason trade out, though.

Ainge revealed a move would have to be someone the team could re-sign at a reasonable price, as he’s willing to miss out on players looking for big money at the end of the season because of what the free agent market looks like.

Regardless, Ainge says the phones are ‘”as busy as ever.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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