Danny Ainge is not shy. He’s shown in the past that he’s willing and able to make bold moves. He’s even been known to shake things up mid season. On the other hand, he’s also shown a great deal of patience when the right deals were not there. Right now, at least publicly, he seems to be leaning toward patience.
“You know me. I’m always open to doing something,” he said of potential trades. “But that doesn’t mean I think we have to go and get something done right now. And it’s not that simple anyway.
“But patience wins out more often than not — more than panic. It has to. I know panic is a bad way to react, so I will remain patient and allow our players to find their form
The unofficial start of trade season is December 15th (when most players signed in free agency the previous summer can be traded). Some deals have already taken place (though the Jimmy Butler deal has unique circumstances). It is certainly possible that the Ainge could find a trade before the deadline that meets both his short term goals (contending for a Championship this year) as well as his long term goals (building a long term roster and perhaps avoiding tax penalties). However, you can see how hard of a needle that could be to thread.
The Celtics are hording assets for a run at Anthony Davis next summer—Boston will likely have a handful of first-round picks next June, including Sacramento’s top-1 protected pick—but they have a deep war chest to make a minor deal.
The easier near-term solution would be for the current roster to play up to their expectations. They’ve been under-performing (which, by the way, doesn’t exactly help their value on the trade market anyway) and there’s clearly room for growth there. On paper this is still a roster that should be among the league’s best. Only time, …and patience, will show that to be truth or just wishful thinking.