Danny Ainge Talks Durant, Trades, Offseason

The offseason has been a little up and down for the Celtics, who failed to make a big draft-day trade and didn’t land top free agent target Kevin Durant, but still got a prospect they really like with the No. 3 overall pick (Jaylen Brown) and secured a contract agreement with another top free agent (Al Horford).

General manager Danny Ainge spoke to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald about the team’s pursuit of Durant and the rest of the summer so far, and made a few interesting comments. The entire piece is worth reading for C’s fans, but here are a few highlights from the discussion:

Ainge on whether he felt the Celtics had a legit chance to sign Durant:

“In a situation like that, you never really know. I didn’t really feel like we had a great chance, but I thought we had SOME chance. And then after we met with them, I felt like we had a real chance.

“I felt there for about 48 hours that we had a legitimate chance. It seemed like a really good fit. It seemed like a really good option for him, and it just wasn’t meant to be. He had other good options, too, but I did allow myself to get really excited for that 48-hour period, and it just didn’t happen.”

On Boston’s presentation to Durant:

“We felt like [the basketball fit] was the most important part of the whole presentation — who he’d play with and how he’d be utilized. He had some good questions about that and about his role — how he would play, how we would use him. I think we did a great job of explaining and making a great presentation, and I think it was tempting for him. I think he is very, very excited about Boston and the history, the Celtics, all of that. I think he loved what Brad [Stevens] had to say. I think he was impressed with Brad’s preparation, and we had a really good feeling about it.”

On whether pulling the trigger on another trade offer would have helped Boston land Durant:

“You know, I thought about that before and I’ve thought about that after, and I really don’t think so — shy of a couple of moves that I couldn’t do. But in deals that we could have done that we refused to do, I don’t think that would have mattered for this. I think that KD really likes our players.

“Under any circumstances, we weren’t going to be able to produce Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.”

On the team’s summer so far, and the outlook going forward:

“You know, we didn’t probably have as many transactions as we wanted. We had offers for the third pick in the draft and some of our young players in this process, and we just didn’t want to do it. We just thought it was too much. We like those things too much, so we’re going to move forward, and we’re excited about the direction that we’re headed.

“When you do major moves, they almost always happen out of nowhere. … We’re continuing to look and talk, and, I mean, look at how fast Chicago has changed. That’s just sort of the way it works.”

View Comments (2)