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Dissecting Danny Ainge’s WEEI Interview

 


Danny Ainge did an unusually long stint on WEEI on Wednesday. In the spirit of draft and free agent season, which is so rife with speculation and disinformation, we thought we’d parse the interview for insights. We trust you’ll find it a pleasing blend of fact and fiction.

What Danny Said About the 2011-12 Celtics: “I thought that the team overachieved. In the end, we just didn’t have enough.”
What Danny Meant:
Two of my Big Four were injured by the end of the playoffs and one of them couldn’t guard anyone even when he was healthy. And my bench could barely put up 6 points a game. And we haven’t rebounded for three years. And we can’t score. And we lost a game where Rondo scored 44 points and shot 275% from the field on long, fadeaway threes. All of that’s going to change next year because the players are going to change and I’m not going to replace them with people like Jermaine O’Neal and Sean Williams, who most of you didn’t even realize was on our roster, did you?

What Danny Said About Kevin Garnett’s potential return: “That would be option A.”
What Danny Meant:
It’s entirely possible our entire defense would collapse without Garnett because he is one of the defining defensive forces of the last twenty years and we keep asking him to carry a heavier burden as Ray Allen and Paul Pierce lose the ability to guard elite wing players and Rajon Rondo loses interest in keeping his man in front of him for multiple games at a time.

What Danny Said About KG’s timeline for a decision: “He may want to wait and see what kind of team we have.”
What Danny Meant:
He is not coming back just so he can be a mentor to the next generation of late first round big men I acquire in the draft. He’s made it clear, via hyper-expressive profanity and other means that also involve swearing, that he’s only coming back if we’re going seriously after a title.


What Danny Said About Austin Rivers: “I think he’s going to be a top-10 pick.”
What Danny Meant: Please stop assuming I have some master plan to get him. I have nothing. Honestly.

What Danny Said About Potentially Using The Amnesty Clause On Paul Pierce: “No.”
What Danny Meant: No.

What Danny Said About Avery Bradley’s Potential: “Avery has a chance to be a very, very good player.”
What Danny Meant: I flat out stole this guy at #19 the way I flat out stole Rondo at #21. I love his offensive potential, I love his defense right now and there are no circumstances under which I will trade him.
What Danny Meant By That: You can expect to hear his name in about half a dozen trade rumors a year for the next five years.

What Danny Said About His Drafting Record: “We’ve been pretty fortunate. We have seven guys that were drafted in the second half of the first round that are starting on playoff teams [around the league].
What Danny Meant: I don’t ever want to hear about JR Giddens again.

What Danny Said About LeBron’s low foul rate: “I really believe he is better at avoiding fouls than [other players]”
What Danny Meant: I would trade my entire roster for him right now.

  • skeeds

    To those who know about this stuff, can Ainge sign other players and then go over the cap to sign KG? There's a cap hold to prevent that kind of shenanigans, isn't there? I hope we're not trapped into a situation where we can't make strong moves so that we have enough cap space to bring KG back, and he refuses to come back because we didn't get anyone…

    • NHBluesMan

      yes, there's a specific hold in the system that prevents this from happening, however Ainge has said that we probably won't get anyone better in free agency then we already have, so resigning our players seems to be the best bet at competing (Bass, Green, Wilcox and MP maybe?).

      I think the biggest change we'll see this year is that Ray will probably be gone (sadly) he could still come back, but for a guy as competitive and schedule-oriented as he is, coming off the bench for a full season might be tough to swallow

      In all honesty, we DON'T need to make major changes, aside from trying to bring in a center. We were 8 minutes from the finals with 4 key rotation guys out of the line-up, and 2 starters playing at less than 100%. If we had Bradley, Green, Wilcox or even JO we could've beaten the Heat.

      Granted, Pierce and Ray staying healthy for a full year is unlikely, but i seriously doubt the C's will have 2 rotation players suffer heart ailments and be out for the season AGAIN. I like our chances next year for sure- i just hope Danny plays his cards right

  • Zain

    You have to resolve your cap holds first. So right now Boston can't sign any free agent unless they renounce their cap holds to go under the cap. Hence why it's best to just resign most of our own Free Agents since we have their Bird Rights and can go over to sign them.

  • Batman

    Hilarious work DeGama
    This week leading up to the draft is going to be very exciting.
    the dominos have already started falling with the WA-NO trade, and I know Danny is gonna make a move
    Just have to trust the man

  • greenboner

    on the lebron foul question he was really saying-"if want to win a championship we need a guy that david stern can market.i would never say that because i would be fined.

  • zach

    good to hear Danny's thoughts. Unless it was a smokescreen I think it definitely makes sense to bring these guys back. They are still better than anyone else you can get and how much would it really help us longterm to tank for a season and maybe wind up with one good prospect (especially given that he has drafted lots of good players in the later half of the draft!). The idea of tanking/rebuilding just does not make sense (other than signing the best young players you can put around KG, PP, RR)

  • Miggy_Miggz

    Pleaseee Danny, nothing drastic.. This years FA class is sub par so just pick up working parts here and there where you can

  • Phil

    Looks pretty accurate to me. Ainge obviously has to be delicate with a lot of things he says, but I don't think anything pointed out in this article is too outlandish or anything that he doesn't know. Ainge seems pretty conscious of a lot of the pitfalls of rebuilding, which makes me hopeful that he'll avoid them.

    As a side note, I think Ainge has drafted pretty well considering he's barely drafted over twenty for five years. Big Baby is good for a second round pick, and Rondo and Bradley are good picks. You're just hoping to get players that late in the draft, and they got more than that in Rondo. That alone is worth a JR Giddens or two.

  • ElRoz

    The Thunder are going to win fewer games against the Heat in the Finals than Boston did – and the Thunder are the "best or second best" team in NBA? Dwell on that!

    Boston ought to use Rondo, Bradley, Bass, Green, Wilcox, Pietrus, E. Moore, Stiemsma-Hollins next season around KG and Pierce (and Ray?): that will NOT be an "old" team.

    Keep KG and Pierce's (and Ray's?) minutes to 75%-80% of their 2011-2012 minutes. It's a fine team.
    KG 24 minutes a game….Pierce 30 minutes, Ray 24 minutes (I know he can play longer – but Bradley needs to be there and continue to develop). This could be one of a fairly younge starting fives even if Pierce starts along KG.

  • I_Love_Green

    I'm really excited for the draft this year. Haven't been this excited for a draft since….07 probably.

  • GreenM&M

    I think Danny will deal the picks. He doesn't seem too high on the guys he can get at those spots in the draft. And whats' the point of drafting journeyman guys when you can pick them up as FAs?

  • skeeds

    I was thinking something along the same lines too. He'll either trade the picks or include some of the young guys like Etawn Moore in a trade.
    JJJ and Etawn can't be considered anything more than rookies.
    And in the end, no matter who we bring back, a team with 5 rookies on the roster can't be a contender. From the looks of it, neither the ownership, nor Ainge are willing to spend Doc's blockbuster contract years on "developing talent". And they shouldn't. If trading a young prospect or two brings us a battle ready veteran, we should go for it.

  • High Rollers

    That last bit is annoying, as is the bit about Rondo’s d. Both are arguable, sort of. Nevertheless, props on the post, Ryan.

    • CG12

      Rondo lost interest in staying in front of his man in approximately 2009.

  • Batman

    Chad Ford saying that we made a promise to Royce White

  • Ford

    Ryan, why are we not looking at drafting terrance jones from Kentucky?
    he would seem to fit in pretty well and is expected to go in the late late teens even early in the 20's.
    he plays good defense and is sizable at the small forward spot. would help defend some of those elite small forwards down the road?
    also what do you think about fab melo with our second pick, it is being heavily rumored right now, i know we need some young size that can REBOUND most importantly, but im not really sold on a guy named fab.

  • tbunny

    I have to get something off my chest. I was driving through central MA last week and some radio guys were talking about the Celtics and some "expert" they had on said that the celtics face a choice of going with a team that's not good enough to win a championship, and a "rebuilding" process. Said, they probably want to have the playoff team but obviously there's no way they can win a championship.

    I guess it shouldn't be surprising at this point since underestimating the celtics is like a year round thing. But REALLY? The celtics just took the eventual champion to seven, basically won four games in a row, had guys who need surgery playing big minutes, had their starting 2 watching at home, and you're going to say they CAN'T win a championship? Did you watch the level of defense played by the thunder? They looked like undergrads compared to the Celtics.

    I believe very very strongly that if Ainge is smart and doesn't reach, and most of all does whatever it takes to resign KG, we will have a team with just as much or more potential to win a title as last year's team. And the experts saying it's not possible are not experts and don't know shit.

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