Friday, February 21, 2014

Danny, Celtics stand pat at the Deadline

It didn't matter if you are a part of the 'tank' club or not, most Celtics fan were expecting some sort of move to be made before 3:00 PM yesterday but the deadline came and went without a single change to the Celtics roster.

Maybe not a fire sale like say Philly, who pretty much cleaned up house yesterday (fair to say, they won't be making the playoffs. Thanks guys.), but as much chatter as there was all season long, no deal was made for Boston.

Danny Ainge decided that there are bigger fish to go after in June and July.

There's plenty to look forward to like the draft and free agency, and of course the summer of 2015. As it stands the C's currently hold the 12th seed (19-36) in the Eastern Conference, they are six games out of the playoff picture, and have the sixth worse record in the NBA. It makes things interesting moving forward to say the least.

Such names involved in trade talks included Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, Rajon Rondo and even Avery Bradley to some extent. You have to think Ainge was not willing to part with any of the nine first round picks (for the next five years) especially not this year's or next for that matter, and why would he? For a rental player that may not re-sign with the team?

Danny knows what he is looking for and no offer looked sweet enough for him to pull the trigger on.

"I think the summertime will be a better time (for deals) based on what I've just listened to and heard over the last few days," said Ainge.

Amen to that. There was no reason to make a trade, just to make a trade. You need to have patience, and there are many pieces to work with moving into the future.

Rondo for one, is the point guard you want to build around. He knows what it takes to win, and let's face it; he is the pass-first point guard that stars such as Kevin Love, and Roy Hibbert will only benefit from playing with.

In 11 games since his return from ACL surgery he is already averaging 7.4-assists and shooting 36- percent from behind the arc. With 27 games left, he is the key to who might stay or might go from this current roster.

Can't help but think the more games he plays with Green, Sullinger, Olynyk and Bradley, it will give Ainge a better idea of who will be a part of the rebuilding process along with Rajon. We have already seen the difference in Kris Humphries' game the last few months (14.4 points/10.8 rebounds/1.7blocks, per 36 minutes), whether he starts or not, when he and Rondo on the floor together, it's an easy two points for Humphries.

Jeff Green knows Rondo can get him going especially in the open floor. Not even Jordan Crawford was capable of finding Uncle Jeff for an alley-oop like # 9 can. In other words there is still hope for the Celtics' leading scorer, but the clock is ticking.

But you also can't help but think maybe such players already mentioned could be on display as trade bait for a deal that will be announced down the road.

Jared Sullinger has been a bright spot for sore eyes (17.9 points/10.9 rebounds per 36 minutes), especially since Rondo's return. He is a legitimate 6'9 power forward who plays out of position most nights at center. He has already added a three-point shoot to his offensive game, but what he really needs to be an effective all around player on a better diet.

Does this give any Celtics fans deja-vu? Is Sullinger the Al Jefferson (biggest trade chip) of 2014, that could be part of a blockbuster deal? Only Danny knows that having five legit power forwards, four of which can play center, two of them on rookie contracts, and one free agent at the end of the season, who is in future plans and who is part of something much bigger. Clearly Ainge has a lot of trading assets.

In any event, the magic number of the day is: six.

Joel Pavón

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