The Celtics have had more ups and downs this season than their primary Eastern Conference competitors, but president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reiterated over the weekend that he’s not feeling any pressure to shake up his roster by making trades in the next three weeks, as Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays.
“It just depends,” Ainge said on Saturday. “I don’t feel a need to have to do something. I like every guy on our team. I like our roster. There will be [trade] conversations, obviously. Every year it happens with every team. But we’ll only do something that makes sense.”
A more pressing issue in Boston may be making sure that all the Celtics’ current players are on the same page, after a series of incidents that included a Jaylen Brown/Marcus Morris on-court confrontation, Kyrie Irving expressing frustration with an end-of-game play call and with his young teammates, and Brown publicly firing back at Irving. However, making his weekly appearance on Toucher & Rich today, Ainge said he doesn’t view any of those incidents as worrisome.
“To me, these aren’t stories,” Ainge said, per Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. “They’re not a big deal. I mean, yes, Kyrie could have done better. Yes, Jaylen could have done better. But these are people. These are kids. These are guys playing with emotion in a glass house. They’re real people with real emotions; they’re not perfect and I don’t ever expect them to be.
“We live in a real sensitive society now,” Ainge added. “And all these things that we’re talking about: ‘Oh, you mean a veteran player called out the young guys? Oh wait, a young guy stood up for himself?’ I mean, where is the drama? I don’t understand it. Quit being sensitive. That’s the story. That’s my story.”
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Danny Green‘s free agency decision won’t alter the direction of the Raptors in the same way that Kawhi Leonard‘s will, but Green has been a crucial piece in Toronto this season and is also on an expiring contract. As James Herbert of CBSSports.com writes, Green is enjoying his time with the Raptors and wouldn’t mind staying with the club beyond this season — alongside Leonard. “I hope he sticks around as long as I’m here,” Green said of Kawhi. “And I hope to stick around.”
- Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri is doing some in-person scouting in Lithuania, according to Donatas Urbonas, who tweets that Ujiri watched top prospect Deividas Sirvydis this week (hat tip to Sportando). ESPN’s Jonathan Givony had the Lithuanian forward ranked at No. 31 in his most recent mock draft.
- In an in-depth profile on new Sixers general manager Elton Brand, Michael Lee of The Athletic looks at Brand’s path from No. 1 pick to an NBA front office, and his first big swing after landing the job — the acquisition of Jimmy Butler.