Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge explored the trade market, but ultimately stood pat after not finding any deals he liked, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.
“We spent a lot of time on the phone talking deals, looking for good ones,” Ainge said. “It was hard to find good ones this year just because we really like our team.”
While it may have been hard for Celtics fans to watch the Sixers, Bucks, and Raptors load up for the playoff race, the club remains confident that it has the pieces necessary to contend for the conference crown. As Blakely relays, Celtics players are happy the team’s core remained intact.
“The (trade) deadline was a lot, for a lot of other people,” Kyrie Irving said. “For us, we were pretty set. They made that very clear, management. So, I’m just happy we just have to focus on the rest of the season and have some fun doing so.”
Here’s more from out of Boston:
- Irving called the moves made by the East’s other top teams “great pickups,” but he and his teammates were mostly unfazed by those clubs’ deadline deals, says Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston.
- Speaking of Irving, Ainge was asked again today during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub about the point guard’s upcoming free agency, and provided an interesting answer (link via ESPN.com). “The way I viewed the situation is that I think a lot of people, because of Kyrie’s announcement at the beginning of the year, thought that it was a marriage,” Ainge said. “And I think that it’s more like an engagement. And we’re going to get married on July 1st. I think that engagement is still on, as far as I know. In my individual conversations with Kyrie, we’re still engaged but we really can’t make those vows, sign that contract until July 1st.”
- Markieff Morris was waived by the Pelicans at the deadline, but Marcus Morris won’t necessarily be pushing the Celtics to add his twin brother, pointing out that there might not be enough minutes to go around in Boston. As Forsberg relays for NBC Sports Boston, Morris just hopes that his brother doesn’t end up playing for one of Boston’s Eastern rivals. “We still trying to figure out what he’s going to do,” Marcus said of Markieff. “If he’s cleared [to return to play after a neck injury], then I’m definitely going to have the conversation with him. I’d rather him go to the West.”
- Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports confirms (via Twitter) that the 2020 second-round pick the Celtics received in Thursday’s Jabari Bird trade is the Hawks‘ own selection and is top-55 protected. In other words, barring a massive turnaround from Atlanta next season, it won’t actually convey.