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Your Morning Dump… Where the C’s might have tried too many things at the deadline

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) February 22, 2013 Celtics News, Danny Ainge, The Morning Dump 13 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

One of the obstacles in the way of the Celtics getting more things done is the fact they were looking at so many different types of deals, for now and for the future. Where, for example, Atlanta was mainly focused on seeing what it could fetch for Josh Smith, the C’s were said to be extremely busy talking about many of their players.

“You know what? I think that a lot of teams find themselves in that position,” said Ainge. “You know, I’m trying to make our team better. That was my objective, but when other alternatives come before you, you have to look at all alternatives. So there was a time that I was talking about almost all the players, just trying to figure out value and what my options were. There was a lot of that that went on at this trade deadline.”

[…] This time, Ainge was serving many masters.

“It was different,” he said. “Sometimes you go in with a specific purpose, and we did have some target guys that we like that we were willing to give up draft picks for and some other things. But we didn’t want to sell the farm to throw everything in right now. We didn’t want to trade Jared Sullinger or Avery (Bradley), who are big parts of our future. We didn’t want to trade draft picks down the road. We wanted to keep some future assets, but at the same time, we did want to upgrade. What it came down to is that there were only a few guys we were willing to do that for, and in the end we just couldn’t make it happen.”

Herald:  C’s miss on trade goals

Danny Ainge was in a tough position this deadline.  He had pressure coming from at least three different sides:

Side 1:  Stand pat and let Garnett and Pierce play out their days here

This has merit from the sentimental side, for sure.  KG, as noted earlier in that linked article, was approached by Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups, but he didn’t give either of them any indication that he wanted to waive his no-trade clause… which fans will love to hear.  The thought of Pierce finishing his career somewhere else is less than appetizing.  But there is financial merit to letting these guys walk and roll the dice with the financial flexibility it may provide.  Trading one or both of them ties up the cap space their departures would free up (not to mention getting the C’s under the tax line).  So I’m sure there’s pressure not just from the fan base to keep our sentimental leaders, but from areas within the organization who say “if you can’t deal them for something great, then don’t handcuff us down the road.”

Side 2:  Get what you can for Garnett and Pierce while you can

I can also certainly see this side.  Trade deadlines are made for trading aging stars.  Playoff teams feeling like they need one more piece to become championship material generally covet these pieces.  It’s what we saw with the Clippers and Garnett.  But for various reasons, the Clippers cooled on the idea.  Maybe part of it was uncertainty after KG’s public “I bleed green, I’ll die green” stance.  Maybe some of it was the widely reported reluctance to give up 20-something year-old pieces for a 36 year-old Garnett.

Some say, at that point, you turn to other teams and start shopping KG aggressively in hopes of getting future assets to help this team.  If this is you, then I hate to inform you that you’re living in the past.   And that’s because of this:

Side 3:  The new CBA completely changed the trade deadline

For this, I cede the floor to Ken Berger. 

This is how business is done now in the NBA. No blockbuster trades in February. Few, if any teams are willing to absorb future salary, which would clog up their books and restrict access to tools needed to improve their rosters. Nobody is willing to give up draft picks as incentive to move a contract or rent a player for the stretch run. No more Monopoly money.

What Stern, Hunter, Adam Silver and the rest accomplished two summers ago became as clear as daylight Thursday. They turned the NBA into the NFL — the No Fun League — when it comes to the trades and in-season player movement. No more stars forcing trades to the markets of their choosing with the reward of max dollars forming the cherry on top.

“This is a pure CBA deadline,” one general manager said Thursday after the dust settled. “If you can’t get a first for J.J. Redick, this is a different world. That guy is a surefire lock to garner a first round pick in the past.”

If the old CBA existed this year, then this morning we might be writing our eulogies for Kevin Garnett’s Celtics career… and maybe Pierce’s too.  But it’s become abundantly clear that the dirtiest words in the NBA have become “repeater tax”… and that no one wants to touch that vile thing if they can avoid it.

So the game has changed.  And the Celtics are not going to go just hand KG over to someone for less than his actual value (whatever Danny has determined that to be) because they don’t just want to add anyone in a “gotta get something for him” trade.  Because the, say two $5 million guys you get could cost you a lot more if you’re taking back longer term contracts tat keep you over the tax threshold too long.

I know, it’s stupid business bullshit.  It’s easier for all of us to live in a fantasy basketball vacuum and scream “ahh, we’re toast, blow it up.”  But the reality is that it’s just not that easy.  The business side of it is more important than ever.  And maybe Danny had too many options to really focus on one path, but maybe that’s because the way business is done nowadays, teams in the Celtics position can’t overly focus on one thing and get some dumb sap of a GM to play along anymore.

The rest of the links:

CSNNE: 15 things to know about Jordan Crawford  |  Crawford will get a taste of discipline, winning, with C’s  |  ESPN Boston:  Celtics carry on as planned  |  Rivers on Crawford: I know he can score  |  Collins on Boston:  I enjoyed every minute  |  Video:  Why no shakeup for C’s  |  WEEI:  What Crawford means to Celtics  |  Donny Marshall:  Josh Smith has no position, no shot selection  |  Globe:  Celtics acquire Crawford from Wizards  |  Doc talks about Crawford  |  Collins on his time in Boston:  I enjoyed every minute of it  |  Herald:  The Crawford file  |  Sudden exit leaves Collins sad  |  Celtics catch Crawford  |  Washington Post:  Grunfeld on Crawford

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  • CoachAJ

    I see we are looking at DJ White when his China contract is up. Could be something good. The new CBA IS going to make all the difference in all future negotiations, but that is what was agreed on so its how the new game must be played.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Ainge….Paralysis by Analysis

  • Grandad434

    First off, I’m glad that we get to see KG and The Truth ride out into the sunset together.
    But here’s my question to any of you that understand the salary cap and how it works.
    Let’s say PP and KG retire this summer, would that money owed to them on their contracts still be against the cap each season or does it do like the amnesty money and come off a separate Boston Celtics salary?
    Just curious since if that’s the case, and they do retire, couldn’t Boston go fishing this summer with $26 mill of PP and KG money?
    Or since they are over the cap but under the luxury only $14 mill of that money is available to use and the other $12 mill is unusable since it’s over the cap?
    Just trying to get a better understanding of the possibilities that lie in for the big Green this summer.
    Thanks fellow bleeders.

    • KGino

      Great questions. I would like to know the same things. I’ve been defending that we should keep them and let them retire, then get an all star FA with their retired $. Not sure how it works exactly, but I’d assume we’d free up at least 10-15 mil..

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    We couldn’t even get Reddick? I hope there are changes in the offseason.

  • Nathan

    Listen, I don’t know anything about this stuff. But with josh smith not getting dealt could someone explain what it would take for us to sign him this offseason?

    • frickenWaaaltaaah

      Just to sign him in FA would require Kevin and Paul retiring…and actually without doing some math that might not even be quite be enough. They might have to ditch Terry or some other salary too.

      A sign and trade might be possible.

      The Hawks really don’t want Smith to land in Boston, but once they strike out on Dwight Howard, they may be open to doing a sign and trade to send Josh where he wants to go, rather than just let him walk, especially if the C’s are still inclined to move Jeff Green to get it done.

  • Spike

    Eh. I still think Danny Ainge sucks.
    But every team was obviously gun shy this year for some reason. The best player to be had was JJR and we didn’t have enough to offer the Magic anyway.

    Ainge’s mistakes were made long before yesteday. In fact, we should just be happy as long as he doesn’t give Crawford a $10/yr deal. ;)

  • frickenWaaaltaaah

    Some people don’t seem to realize that the Hawks wanted Jeff Green AND Paul Pierce AND draft picks AND to dump more salary on us. Of course it was smart not to do that sort of deal.

    In fairness to the Hawks, they were looking for a deal that was better than just letting Smith come off the books and walk away. They didn’t find one so a deal didn’t happen.

    Same deal with the Celtics; nobody offered them anything that was better than just letting guys retire when they are ready. It’s not like Paul and Kevin have 5+ year 20mil deals left and Danny was desperate to move them.

  • Capitalmarkets

    Ladies and gentlemen we are, to put it lightly, royally screwed! I love kg more than anything but we shouldve traded him for bledsoe n jordan. Does anyone not realize the celtics will not find that level of talent in the draft or via free agency??

    Ainge`s 1st mistake was granting kg a no trade clause–but he could`ve overcome that obstacle by trading pp 1st. Its about the long-term success of the team! Five yrs from now when they suck ppl wont give a darn about kg`s time in Boston. This was a colossal mistake by Ainge n the owners.

    • Grandad434

      True fans will always care about KG’s time in Boston and that he was vital in bringing a ring to the Celtics. Enjoy this team while you can because next season I doubt it will look the same. KG and PP are Celtics and will always be.
      Happy Birthday Rondo, get strong brother!

    • kg215

      You mean Bledsoe who is unproven and has good per minute averages but not a lot of minutes? And Deandre Jordan who hasn’t really improved in the past 3 years, the guy who rarely plays in 4th quarters due to lack of offensive skill and poor FT shooting? Oh no, how will we ever win championships without them? They are still decent pieces, but those 2+Rondo+Josh Smith (another theoretical trade target) would not have even been close to a championship team.

  • celtfever123

    Though there may be a growing period you will still have rondo,avery,courtney,jordan,jeff,brandon fab and sully. Thats a good amount of talent to develope under future h o f s. Celts will be fine.