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Celtics Notes: Ainge, Okafor, Trades

The Celtics are eager to make a deal, but other teams simply are not looking to swap top players for prospects and draft picks, A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast Sportsnet writes. “You win with players, not picks,” an anonymous assistant GM told Blakely. “Boston has lots of picks and some good players. But there’s not a great player on that roster. And the players you [media] guys keep writing and talking about that they’re interested in, are great players. [Danny Ainge] will tell you, it’s not easy making trades. And when it comes to great players, it’s even harder to acquire them no matter how many picks you offer up.”

Here’s more from Boston:

  • The consensus around the league is that if the Celtics can make a big deal, it will be for Jahlil Okafor, as Blakely passes along in the same piece. “From the moment Philly drafted Ben [Simmons], everyone around the league knew that they would have to trade a big, either Okafor or Nerlens [Noel],” an NBA scout told Blakely. “Okafor is the better scorer; it’s not even close really. But Nerlens has that ability to run the floor and can protect the rim. Those two qualities . . . you can’t have enough guys in the frontcourt who call those two skills, strengths. That’s why Okafor is the more expendable player.”
  • Another executive told Blakely that Ainge is waiting for an opportunity to snag a player whom no one thought would be available. “I have no idea who that big fish is,” the executive said. “But Danny knows there have to be certain circumstances in play that make guys available who wouldn’t be if you just went by talent. That’s how they got Ray Allen. That’s how they got KG (Kevin Garnett). Even Isaiah Thomas a couple years ago was about circumstance more than anything else. He’s looking for something like that now.”
  • While the Celtics are looking to acquire another star via trade, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com wonders if the next prime-time player is already on the roster. Forsberg makes the argument that Marcus Smart will elevate his game to an All-Star level next season and the scribe expects Smart to take on much of Evan Turner‘s previous role now that the Ohio State product has signed with Portland.
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24 thoughts on “Celtics Notes: Ainge, Okafor, Trades

  1. Connorsoxfan

    I’m an optimistic Celtics fan, but it’s not realistic to count on Smart playing like an all-star.

    • jacobsigel1025

      I’m also an optimistic Celtics fan and we can expect Smart to get 6th man but not all star

    • Rons_da_man

      He just can’t shoot. If he could score more consistently – be a 50/40 guy – we wouldn’t need to make a trade.

  2. seckert15

    If you are Boston, would give the 2017 and 2018 Nets picks and Isaiah Thomas for Westbrook?

    • Mack

      Is he singing a long term contract? If no, then no.

      • seckert15

        Im assuming he would sign or no team would trade for him.

        • Mack

          Never say never. Some team will regardless. But yes, if he signs, send them.

    • Wally-the-green-monster

      Don’t think so. Thomas is an all star. There’s no guarantee Westbrook re-signs with Boston if they deal for him. Bradley plus two Celtics first rounders. Not the Brooklyn picks.

      • The two Celtics first rounders are almost useless considering they will probably be in the 20-30 range. If Westbrook agrees to sign an extension, then Thomas and the two Nets picks becomes a more realistic option. If Westbrook remains uncommitted about an extension, then the Celtics probably need to offer one of Bradley/Smart plus one of the Brooklyn picks.

        • seckert15

          The Nets picks will be lottery picks

        • Rons_da_man

          The nets pick will be a top 4 pick. We have the right to a swap in 2017.

      • seckert15

        Don’t think that would even be close to getting a deal done.

        • seckert15

          Sorry that was for Wally

    • jacobsigel1025

      Absolutely not considering Russell Westbrook is an fa after this year

      • seckert15

        Im going off the premise he would agree to an extension jacob

  3. Poundsy24

    Why would we want Westbrook?? He’s a great individual player but he’s not good for this system… He’s too selfish. And the price it would take to get him is way too much to even consider. We have a legitimate chance to get the No. 1 overall pick next year or at least top 5 in a deep draft for the next two years… Keep them, unless you trade for KD lol (that’s not happening)

    • seckert15

      Why would you want Westbrooke?
      Because you dont win championships without a superstar.

      • Stefan

        Spurs.

        • Tim Duncan is a future hall of famer why is that not a superstar

      • pokdawg2002

        Pistons

        • seckert15

          I’ll give you the Pistons but you get the point. But you can see how rarely it happens.
          Detroit beat beat a dysfunctional Lakers team and then lost to the Spurs (Tim Duncan superstar) the following season.

  4. Ron Jackson

    Okafor to Sacramento; Cousins to Boston; picks plus player to Philly

    • Not nearly enough going back to Sacramento. In a hypothetical Cousins-to-Boston trade, the Celtics are giving up at least one of the Nets picks (if not both) plus some combination of Bradley/Smart/Brown/Crowder.

  5. celticsfan

    The nets pick will be a top 2 pick (josh jackson), and the next year will be the No. 1 overall pick (center Deandre Ayton)

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