Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Chris Mannix believes Horford would be a perfect fit with the Celtics, but the price tag might be standing in the way.
“From everything I’ve been told in the last two or three days, Atlanta’s requests for both Al Horford and Jeff Teague have been borderline ridiculous,” explained Mannix. “The kind of things teams like Boston, or Milwaukee, or Denver simply won’t deal for the players they want.
“Things like this tend to cool off though. As we get close to the deadline – when we get to the 17th, when we get to the 18th – that’s when the real horse trading begins. That’s when Danny Ainge will know if Atlanta is really serious about trading Al Horford.”
No surprise here. You’d have to be a moron of a GM to not ask for the moon this far out from the deadline. Someone might go all in this early, but I doubt it’s Danny.
Even though a new trade rumor seems to pop up every hour, Ainge said not to hold your breath on a trade at this point.
“Nothing’s imminent,” said Ainge.
The last time Ainge joined the show, he went on record to say that the Celtics couldn’t win a championship as currently constructed. Despite winning 10 of the last 12 games, Ainge stood by that statement.
“I don’t think that we’re on the same level as Cleveland, San Antonio and Golden State,” said Ainge. “I do believe the extraordinary is possible, and we’re trying to find a way to improve our team without mortgaging the future or taking unnecessary risks..”
This hasn’t just been a quiet year for Boston in terms of trades, it’s been a quiet year all around. There are probably several reasons for this–first of all, the teams that make rash panicky decisions have been mostly firing coaches instead of shipping out talented players. Secondly, a surprising number of big names are hitting the free agent market this summer, and that’s lowered the price that teams are willing to pay in a trade, both in terms of draft picks and in terms of quality players under contract. Another reason is the huge cap increase coming this summer. A number of teams seem to have unreasonable expectations of who they can add, and thus may not be willing to ‘blow up’ their teams.
In financial terms, what we have here is a liquidity trap. It’s not so much that it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market as there isn’t a market at all. With nobody making trades, nobody knows what anybody’s worth. I suppose this season’s trade deadline could be a big so-what, but on the other hand it could end up being an absolutely insane last minute cascade of deals launched by a blockbuster trade (say Al Horford and/or Jeff Teague).
Meanwhile, most of Celtics twitter has been fretting over the possibility of Dwight Howard joining the team.
— bee (@ibee32) February 12, 2016
About the only thing that can be safely said at this point is that if this happens, at least we can be confident that Danny Ainge won’t overpay for him. One of the areas where, I believe, Ainge doesn’t get enough credit is his willingness to do small deals that help other teams dodge tax bills, clear space or facilitate larger trades–occasionally you get a serviceable rotation player out of the deal (Zeller, Jerebko), and in any case, you build up a reservoir of goodwill that does make a difference when it comes time to make a substantial trade.
However, Ainge’s willingness to do favors for other teams stops well short of helping Daryl Morey unwind a big stupid mistake he made.
And, honestly, standing pat might be the best thing for Boston at this point. If they have an opportunity to make a significant upgrade without landing a super star, say picking up Al Horford, then that’s a trade you make. The rest of the names being tossed around seem lateral-ish, like say Ryan Alexander, Tobias Harris, or Shabazz Mohammed. Sure, they might end up being marginally better than some Celtics rotation players at those spots (one might see Shabazz being an upgrade over Evan Turner, for instance), but are they so much better that they’re worth all of the hassle of a trade?
To me, it feels like the Celtics have 80% of what they need to win a title here, so you have to be pretty careful about who you add and how you add him.
Page 2: Where it’s one big happy family
This team has great chemistry right now. Marcus Smart’s in Toronto because he’s in the Rising Skills Challenge Game or some such. The thing he was left out of last year. That one. Isaiah Thomas is in Toronto because he’s very good at his job.
Page 3: Where calling Danny the “Jared of Chipotle” is still funny
Very cool moment today… Danny Ainge bought me lunch! I ended up next to him in line at Chipotle, and said: “I think I know you…” He went into the whole, rehearsed “Yeah, nice to-” and I said, “You’re the Jared of Chipotle, right???” (a running joke he let slip on Toucher and Rich) It caught him so off guard, he laughed and said (way too loud for being in public), “Yeah, it was funny til he turned out to be a SEX OFFENDER!” The guys he was with cracked up, I got a handshake, told him I was a fan, and left him to his group. But when I got up to the register, my lunch was paid for. One of my favorite Celtics from when I was growing up bought me lunch… Pretty awesome.
Finally, a Lakers fan with a sense of humor
If Lakers can land Dwight, and maybe get Nash, look out. https://t.co/RGbey2SfB7
— Shawn Fury (@shawnfury) February 11, 2016
This guy’s a friend of mine–who probably won’t mind me pointing out that he thought the Brad Stevens hire was a mistake because I’m also going to plug his book. It’s a history of the jump shot called Rise and Fire, and it’s coming out February 23. If you like basketball, you should probably buy this book.
Players no longer found themselves earthbound. Defenses controlled the game in the early years, or, perhaps more accurately, subpar offense ruled. To adapt, players jumped to get their shots over the raised hands of defenders, and at the same time rose above the game’s conventions. Basketball was never the same. The jump shot created offense, excitement, fans, and legends. Games that formerly ended with scores fit for a football field soon saw both teams reach triple figures.
The rest of the links:
Masslive: Boston Celtics trade rumors 2016: Shabazz Muhammad is reportedly on team’s radar | Boston Celtics trade rumors 2016: Danny Ainge discusses deadline mentality, doesn’t think Atlanta Hawks will move key guys
SouthCoastToday.com: Celtics: Claim staked in East