As the NBA trade deadline approached the Celtics had the second best record in the Eastern Conference and seemed to have all the incentive they needed to make a take and take a shot at dethroning Cleveland come June. But despite having all the assets needed to make a serious move the Celtics stood pat at the deadline.
The move, or lack thereof, signaled to many fans that the team is committed to a slower rebuild. They’re going to hold onto their draft picks and find the next franchise player through the draft, even if it means giving them a few years to develop.
On Friday, February 24th Celtics Managing Partner, Governor, and CEO Wyc Grousbeck joined the popular Boston sports talk show Felger & Mazz to discuss the team’s plans moving forward. While most fans probably expected Grousbeck to argue in favor of the long-term rebuild the C’s owner didn’t rule out the possibility of a big time trade happening this summer.
“What we’ve agreed so far is that we’re going to keep [the 2017] Brooklyn pick until the lottery at least, and we’re going to see where it shakes out . . . We could trade the pick after we make it. We can trade the pick on [draft] night. We could trade that guy in a year,” Grousbeck said on the show.
“Let’s say we add a max free agent this summer, we pick a really good guy, and then we make a trade next February for an impact player . . . I don’t understand how making a draft pick is inconsistent with winning a championship as soon as possible.”
We aren’t interested in winning a round or two this year; we’d like to win the whole thing this year.”
Grousbeck showed confidence in this year’s team and likes their chances moving forward; but if he’s that confident in the team why not make a small move to improve their chances?
“I’m comfortable with yesterday [February 23rd NBA trade deadline] because we didn’t take two steps back. We are going full speed as fast as we can to what we think is the next contending team,” Grusbeck said. “We aren’t interested in winning a round or two this year; we’d like to win the whole thing this year.”
If he actually believed what he said about contending for a championship this season why not make a trade for someone who can help you rebound? Why not give up a second round pick for an Andrew Bogut? Yeah, Danny Ainge might’ve known that Philadelphia planned on buying Bogut’s contract out and making him a free agent, but why open the door for another team to swoop in. If the plan was to sign Bogut after the trade deadline and not give up any assets it was the wrong plan because you ended up with nothing. Had you just shipped out a second round pick you could have the player and better chances moving forward.
While I don’t believe Grousbeck when he says the team is committed to making a championship run this season I do believe him when he says a big trade could be on the horizon come lottery time. If the Celtics do end up with a top-two pick get ready to hear fans fantasizing about Jimmy Butler. Until then I hope you like this Celtics squad; because you’ll be seeing a lot of them.