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.
The Celtics president of basketball operations seemingly was less upset with his inability to improve his club’s rebuilding position and more disappointed with how Rajon Rondo’s name got thrown around in rumors when there never was anything approaching a substantive discussion for the All-Star point guard. There were some token offers.
“There’s always some of that, but that’s just people checking,” Ainge said. “I don’t have a problem with somebody calling me even if I don’t think it’s a reasonable offer. That happens all the time, and I’m sure I’ve done that, too. I don’t have any issues with that.
“But what I do have issues with is people that call with really no intention to make a deal and just an intention of being able to say they called. Then the next thing you know, as soon as they hang up the phone, there’s rumors that they’re trying to get Rondo. So it becomes a story that’s talked about for seven days, when in fact they never really did want Rondo and we definitely had no interest in getting rid of Rondo.
“We love Rondo, and we had no intention of doing that deal. But someone can call and feel good about themselves and make some bogus offer and then have a rumor out there that they’re trying to get him.”
So who is Danny pissed at? Sacramento Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro? Rockets GM Daryl Morey? Someone else?
Regardless of who it is, Ainge seems pissed at someone for leaking information about something that was never serious.
Of course, this could just be a smoke screen so Ainge can make a player feel better about being caught up in rumors again. But if we take it at face value, Ainge seems legitimately upset at someone for just trying to look good to his fans and his boss.
“Oh yeah, guys, I totally tried to get Rondo. Did you see the Woj tweets? He said it, so it’s gotta be true. But Danny wanted, like, half the roster and he wouldn’t budge so I had to get tough with him and say ‘no way dude, I’m not gutting my team.’ Yup… I totally tried to get Rondo.”
If I didn’t see people like this in every job I’ve had, it might be hard to believe, but there are plenty of people out there who would rather just look good than do a good job. If one of those people just happens to be running an NBA team, then that’s something GM’s will have to deal with.
It’s not like Danny doesn’t know how to use a leak to play the public negotiating game. But we also know he can keep a secret. He probably wishes everyone else could too.
Page 2: Ainge states the obvious: “We need great players”
“First of all we need great players,” Ainge said. “Either our young players develop into great players or we have to acquire them. We’ve seen flashes from our young players. We need them to do that more consistently. We need to go out and draft those players or find those players.”
Ainge says the C’s were very active, but they didn’t get anything they loved, so they walked away. That’s how you do it. In fact, that’s the exact concept we started with on last night’s Trade Deadline Special Edition of Celtics Stuff Live.
I don’t think any of the C’s aside from Rondo will ever fall into the “great” category, but you never know. I like Jared Sullinger’s development, and he can certainly lead the team on some nights. But every night? He’ll have to take a few steps for that to happen. We’ll see where Kelly Olynyk falls in all of this too, but the bottom line is that next great player will likely have to get drafted or acquired somehow. Once you have that in the mix, a lot of other things fall into place.
As I said last night, once you have a great player out there that requires a double team, that’s when guys like Sullinger and Olynyk can really prove their worth by becoming guys that will make you pay for leaving them to double team. If you can build a roster where the question “who do you leave to send a double team?” can be asked out of fear, you’ve built yourself one hell of a team.
The Celtics didn’t lose anything at the deadline. Their assets lost no value whatsoever, so there’s no reason to be upset about them waiting for a “wow” type deal.
Next up: Draft night. Once Ainge knows where he’ll be drafting, then you’ll start to see some more movement.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Patient C’s not pressured by deadline | Stevens tries to keep his players at ease | Rapid reaction: No moves for C’s | Herald: Celtics roster same as deadline passes | Stevens admires players’ focus | Globe: Celtics quiet as deadline passes | Celtics don’t pull off any deals at deadline, and that’s ok | CSNNE: Gorman: GM ‘paralysis’ at trade deadline | Ainge: I believe Rondo loves Boston | Spears: Rondo had no interest in playing Sacramento | Maxwell: C’s will keep Rondo long-term | Not the first time Ainge has stood pat at deadline | Stevens expected quiet deadline