After a flurry of trade reports over the past couple days regarding Houston center Omer Asik, Danny Ainge took to the airwaves today for his weekly interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Danny spoke with Ryan Johnston, Mike Flynn and Jon Wallach, filling in for Toucher and Rich and addressed the recent reports head on. A few of the key anecdotes:
On Asik trade rumors: “I have no indication of that, other than the rumors. I have no indication, in my dealings with and calls with other teams, that we’re close to doing a deal.”
On value of draft picks: “They are valuable. They are valuable in trades, as we’ve done before. We’ve thrown draft picks into deals to acquire players, and [we’ve used them] to draft. We just try to value each player and each opportunity and stay opportunistic.”
On recent reports out there: “We’re just opportunistic. When you read our name out there, sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s not. The reports are embellished for sure right now, but we are having discussions and seeing what opportunities there are out there.”
On the value of big men: “I think they are valuable. I think that everyone is looking for big guys that can defend. You are also looking for big guys that score in the post and big guys can shoot and pass….and are versatile players. There are no perfect players out there, but there are good pieces on all teams. The NBA is loaded with quality players and big guys are much harder to find than small guys.”
On whether he addresses the reports with Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee: “When the reports came out yesterday, I was traveling so I didn’t have an opportunity to talk to them but I did talk to their representatives and filled them in and let them know what was happening.I always address those issues. I address the players when I’m around and tell them what’s going on. They are big boys, every one of them.”
Having trade talks now regularly? “No, not regularly. There are conversations, but usually the conversation heats up in February much more so than this early time of the season.”
On whether he consults Brad Stevens on any moves: “Brad is very bright. He knows the game. He studies the game and watched a lot of tape on these players. He has much better insight on college players, than he does on all of the current NBA players. He does study the opponents, watches a lot of tape, so he’s becoming very familiar and he’s a very quick study. He’s a very bright guy. Really has a good feel for what he wants to do as a coach and what kind of players he wants as well. Of course, we have conversations regularly.”
CH’s Take: Some good stuff from Ainge here. No outright denials, but it’s clear whatever Danny’s best offer was right now, Daryl Morey and Houston were saying no to it for the time being. Given that situation, it makes no sense for Ainge to make these talks seem more serious and have his own guys worry more about them, so he’s downplaying any discussions.
You can bet though that these talks are not dead. It’s decision day for Morey, so either him or Ainge is going to pick up that phone one more time. Not saying it will happen, but I’d be shocked if there aren’t at least more discussions today regarding a potential deal that continues to make sense for both sides.
Stay tuned all day on CelticsHub for the very latest on a potential deal.