Posted July 01, 2013

Celtics’ Danny Ainge: ‘We are not tanking’

NBA
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says the team will not tank this season. (Rich Obrey/Getty Images)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says the team will not tank this season. (Rich Obrey/Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics traded away Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets last week in exchange for Gerald WallaceKris HumphriesKris JosephMarShon Brooks and Keith Bogans.

The Celtics landed three first-round picks (2014, ’16 and ’18) and the right to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2017 to complete the blockbuster deal.

With all that wheeling and dealing, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge insists that the team will be competitive this upcoming season and won’t lose on purpose in order to snag one of the prized prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft.

 “We are not tanking. That’s ridiculous. This is the Boston Celtics,” Ainge said to the Boston Globe.

The Celtics introduced draft picks Kelly Olynyk and Colton Iverson today, but still have not selected a coach to replace Doc Rivers, who left the team after nine seasons to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.

GOLLIVER: Grading Celtics-Nets deal for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce


20 comments
John4
John4

No, the Celtics will not "tank" the upcoming season.  They will also not win a lot of games either.  They are in a rebuilding mode, and that should take 2-3 seasons.  When you trade away (an older) Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and obtain Kelly Olynyk on draft day, you team will be taking A LOT of steps back.  No hating, either, it just is what it is.  

6marK6
6marK6

Not tanking, just trading away every good player they have for future picks that very well could be in the late rounds. This team will be awful next year. But it is the Eastern conference, so they might be in contention for a #8.

mike8
mike8

He may have been able to squeeze one more year out of that bunch but he would get nothing but cap space in return. He has some young bigs that were injured last season to ease the pain of losing KG. Its not an even deal but its better than nothing. Pierce was in the way of Green and Terry gave them nothing. Boston may not make the playoffs but they will not be the worst team. 

fmteter
fmteter

Have to admit that I line up with Ainge on this.  He faced the reality of diminishing returns from older players and did something about it.  He traded away older, fading stars for younger players lower salaries and some upside.  Picked up some great draft picks, which will help the Celtics build for the future.  Are they going to be contending for the championship next year?  Not likely.  But it could very well be that we're looking back in 4 years and talking about how smart Danny Ainge was in 2013.

Mike161
Mike161

I'm a die hard NBA fan but I think everyone should boycott the NBA until they call the Stop And Hop for what it is: TRAVELING!

bobstacyamber1
bobstacyamber1

How is Ainge tanking?  He traded away player's that were past their prime and there was no way they were winning another championship. Heck, he should be praised for landing 3 first round draft picks and building for the future rather than fielding a mediocre team for the next 3-4 years.  

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I was a Baltimore Bullets fan, and I try to still root for the Wizards (and trust me, THAT has been a trial) but the only way they are getting to respectability (and I think they really may be) is get those those lottery picks. If I know it I think Ainge probably does. You ARE indeed tanking, Danny Boy.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

They're tanking, and every one knows it.  Tanking is how you get the best chance to become a great team again.  Otherwise you need some insanely idiotic luck like the Bulls getting the #1 pick when Derrick Rose is in the lottery or the Spurs getting the #1 pick for Tim Duncan.

It's better to tank for a year or two than to be stuck in basketball hell for a decade like Boston was when Bird retired.

NeoSmith
NeoSmith

This is the same guy who threw a ball at Hakeem Olajawon's head and pointed to the backboard and said it was an accident.  Good luck selling your story Danny.  At least Michael Jordan is just BAD with the Bobcats, you sir, are tanking a season for the Wiggins' sweepstakes.  Just be honest about it and don't ask fans to be idiots and we'll all respect you more.

John4
John4

@6marK6 Actually, the three first round picks they obtained from the Nets come in 2016, 2018 and 2020.  So Kevin Garnett will have retired by then, and Paul Pierce might as well.  Without those two players, the Nets are rife for losing a lot of games, so the picks could be good ones.     

6marK6
6marK6

@fmteter He should have moved the Big Three two years ago. Been stuck in a holding pattern for last two years.

John4
John4

@Mike161 Sort of a comment that has very little to do with the subject.  

riley8
riley8

@bobstacyamber1 The proof will be in the pudding.  You can write off the next 2 to 3 seasons as this team won't be sniffing the playoffs.  We will see how much "praise" Ainge is deserving of in 5 years.

John4
John4

@NeoSmith Note that all teams that don't make the playoffs are in the lottery IF they haven't traded away their pick.  BUT, the teams with the worst records, (Charlotte, Orlando, New Orleans) have a much better chance of getting the number one pick due to the number of balls in the hopper from each team.  The teams with the best records (but still in the lottery) have a VERY low chance of drafting number one.  Look for Boston to win about 30 games this coming season.  Many teams will win much less.  Boston's chance in the lottery will probably be in the 2% to 5% range.  I think "tanking" is intentionally losing games.  The Celtics will try to win in 2013 2014, I think, they just won't win a lot.  

Davos1
Davos1

@NeoSmith You are living in an fantasy world.  If you admit to tanking, David Stern smacks your franchise and makes those lottery balls bounce the other way. You're a fool if you want Ainge to be honest. Thankfully Ainge is smarter than you.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

@NeoSmith I am confused by your apostrophe. Have Andrew Wiggins and his whole family now taken over for Ed McMahon? How else are they in possession of their own sweepstakes?

doghockey
doghockey

@NeoSmith Good one.   If he admitted that the Celtics were going to tank the season, David Stern would have him NY explaining himself within 24 hours.   And you would yell at him about tanking the season.

John4
John4

Matt - great call out on the incorrect use of an apostrophe!

John4
John4

@MattBugaj Matt - I call out all forms of idiocy.  Idiots need to know who they are.  First there was the brain dead fool by the name of JohnP, who then changed his name to "IHateJohn4" (really) and now he's masquerading as "Ur_Doppelganger".  He has won the prize - probably without even trying - for "Idiot of the Day" at least a dozen times.  I kind of feel sorry for him, and cannot fathom how badly his parents failed failed failed him, but no matter.  Also, those who make the borderline illiterate mistake of YOUR / YOU'RE need to have their stupidity exposed.  A few weeks before the NBA draft there was an exceptionally clueless fool who thought that the Cavaliers would package their two second round picks along with their 19 pick for a top 5 pick.  What world is that guy living in?  Those who advertise their stupidity need to have to exposed.    

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

@John4 I had to come back to the post to see if you were being sarcastic. Then I saw it: I don't usually pick  grammar fights, but when I do, I do it because the person using bad grammar is self-righteous and making OTHER bad points. :)