Celtics’ Danny Ainge Explains ‘Pressure’ He Felt At Trade Deadline

'I sensed some discouragement internally with our guys'


Mar 26, 2021

The Boston Celtics needed a boost, both to their roster and team morale.

The Celtics didn’t swing for the fences Thursday, but the biggest trade they swung ahead of the deadline was a win for Boston any way you slice it. The C’s were able to acquire veteran wing Evan Fournier from the Magic for the low cost of two second-round picks and Jeff Teague, who won’t even report to Orlando.

Danny Ainge while meeting virtually with the media Friday noted he would have made that Fournier trade at any time. But it just so happened to come at a juncture of the season in which the Celtics president of basketball operations felt Boston needed a shot in the arm.

“I didn’t feel pressure to do any of these things. I feel that this is a deal I would have done at any time over the last few years, probably, with this opportunity,” Ainge said. “I guess the greatest pressure is just — I wanted our players to feel hope and I want our coach to feel hope. I sensed some discouragement internally with our guys. That was one reason why we did something now as opposed to waiting somewhere down the road.”

The Celtics’ pre-deadline activity didn’t begin and end with the Fournier trade. Boston parted ways with Daniel Theis and Javonte Green as part of a three-team deal with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. As a result of the trade, the C’s now are in a position to make some noise on the buyout market.

It probably is dramatic to say the additions of Fournier, Moe Wagner and potentially a free-agent big man will signal a new lease on life for the 2020-21 Celtics. But at a minimum, these new arrivals seemingly will prompt a breath of fresh air, which the C’s certainly could use amid their roller-coaster season.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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