Closing in on nearly two decades as Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations — Danny Ainge — who spoke about his future with the storied franchise, also opened up about other potential major moves and, of course, the Celtics’ upcoming first-round playoff best-of-7 playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich morning show, Thursday. He was asked about a rumor suggesting the former NBA champion, who’s also led the Celtics front office for just over 18 years, is considering taking a break from his duties.
Celtics’ Danny Ainge On Potentially Taking A Break: ‘I Have Thought That Way Before’
And for Celtics fans, the answer may surprise you.
“I have thought that way before,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “But, that’s not going on right now.”
Were there phone calls being made in search of a potential temporary replacement, Danny? No, Ainge confirmed to Toucher & Rich.
At the moment, the Celtics president of basketball operations says he’s content.
“I have a really good staff of people,” Ainge said. “With Mike Zarren (vice president of basketball operations) and my son, Austin (assistant general manager), Dave Lewin (director of player personnel), Remy Cofied (college scout); those guys have been doing a lot more over the last couple of years. I have been delegating a lot; those guys are very capable.”
Still, Ainge and his staff are often met with challenges.
“I think the challenge has just been where to be, there are so many different things to do,” Ainge said. “Things that I like to do, things that I’m best at, and things that I need to be at. Those are always challenging; where do I spend my time that day or that week, and helping the organization the most.”
Danny Ainge On 2020-21 Celtics: ‘We’re Just Evaluating This Team’
For Ainge’s staff — all of whom have been dealing with Danny’s idiosyncrasies in one form or another — the evaluating continues as the Celtics head to Brooklyn, this weekend for Game 1 against the Nets, Saturday night at Barclay Center.
The postseason play will give Danny and Co. a better idea of what’s truly missing from Brad Stevens’ roster — outside of All-Star Jaylen Brown and potentially starting center Robert Williams — and which major pieces are most detrimental to Boston’s success in the future.
“We’re just evaluating this team,” Ainge added. “Our players, watching the development of some of them. I mean, we’re seeing some guys get their first opportunity to play, in some cases. Right before our eyes. So, we’re evaluating guys; how they play could change how we feel about them. Absolutely.”
Danny Ainge On The Celtics’ ‘Major Pieces’
So, for Boston, or for Ainge, rather; which Celtics players does Danny consider “major pieces”?
“I’m not getting into that,” Ainge said. “That’s crazy. I’m not –.”
OK, that’s fair. No need to toe the line of the NBA’s tampering rules, Danny. I get it.
But, to put what he’s trying to say into lamen’s terms: it sounds like the idea of making a colossal trade that would shake up the team’s core isn’t ideal. At least, for now.