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.
At All-Star weekend, Isaiah Thomas said other players shared how much they appreciate Boston’s style. Nobody knows exactly what the Celtics will grow into, but everyone sees the outline of a looming contender.
For now it’s just the outline, though. Entering Thursday’s trade deadline, the Celtics need to balance the preservation of everything they’ve built — a cohesive group, a top-3 defense, a young roster teeming with improving players — and the continued process of turning a fun group into a legitimate contender. Despite 13 wins in the last 17 games, including thrillers against the Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge continues to stress he will keep the long-term future in focus.
The Celtics stand 32-23 and in third place in the Eastern Conference. While that sounds promising, Ainge is realistic. He knows that to make a move into a legitimate contender to Golden State or San Antonio in the West and Cleveland and Toronto in the East would mean mortgaging the future.
It means he would almost certainly have to deal that Brooklyn pick.
This is what makes Ainge one of the best personnel managers in recent Boston sports memory. He refuses to get caught up in the what-if game for one run this spring.
Will he or won’t he? Inquiring Celtics fans want to know if Danny Ainge will pull off a player swap before the trade deadline on Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time.
The consensus among local beat writers seems to be that Danny is ready to deal if necessary, but that he shouldn’t try to hit a home run if it would jeopardize what he’s built so far. No doubt most Boston fans agree with that approach. I sure do.
Meanwhile, we’ve heard the rumors and the speculation, but we have no idea what’s being specifically discussed behind closed doors in the Celtics’ offices. Even if we did, circumstances can change suddenly and up to the final moments, as happened with last year’s Isaiah Thomas trade, which came together only a few minutes before the deadline. So, it’s literally impossible to predict what will happen. All we can do is wait and see. And squirm.
On Page 2: Highlights! Of games!
It has been one long week since the Celts last played a game, which was the overtime win against the Clippers. Even worse, there are still two more days to wait for the next game, this Friday at Utah (with a late start at 10:30 p.m. Eastern).
To remind us of what we’ve been missing, the Celtics have kindly compiled this video of the best plays of the season to date.
Need your daily dose of C’s basketball? Relive some of the most exciting plays so far this season.https://t.co/7bmWscttHb
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 16, 2016
And, finally: ET goes home
— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) February 17, 2016
Congrats to Evan Turner, honored by Ohio State last night to commemorate his winning the National Player of the Year award in 2010. Here’s video of the ceremony. Ainge and Jared Sullinger were also in the building to show their support.
— Danny Ainge (@danielrainge) February 17, 2016
Related: ESPN Boston – Evan Turner to Danny Ainge: ‘In July, you can pay me all you want’