Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Celtics make decision on jazz trade: sources

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Former Boston Celtics basketball operations president Danny Ainge has been busy this offseason with his new team, the Utah Jazz. After failing in the first round of the 2022 playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks, the Jazz orchestrated trades that sent Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell on young players and draft assets. After the Mitchell deal was finalized, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed that the Jazz has other veterans who have regained coveted assets in the league.

So could the Celtics get into the jazz firesale themselves? An Eastern Conference board member recently revealed Heavy’s Sean Deveney if the Celtics could go.

“No, because Danny wants picks, and I’m not sure the Celtics will give up any more picks. They swapped first-round players in Brad’s first two years, and the next year they swapped their choices.”

The executive added that the Celtics may be reluctant to part with more first-round picks given their long-term prospects.

“By 2025, Smart, White and Brogdon will all be on the verge of going out of business and they will all be in their thirties. You have to fill up the list. They’re willing to trade picks now because their boys are all in their prime. This is coming to an end and they need tips to deal with it.”

The executive also revealed a jazz player who could join the Celtics, but not via trade.

“I could see that maybe they’ll look at Rudy Gay at some point if he’s bought out, which I think will happen. But he’s 36 and they’ve been trying to find young veterans, so even there that’s not their first choice.”

According to Heavy’s Steve Bulpett, several executives were not happy with what Ainge was able to accomplish for Mitchell and Gobert. One wondered how long it would take for the trading market to return to normal.

“These trades aren’t real,” one executive told Bulpett. “I mean, I think they ARE real because they [expletive] happened, but whoa… It’ll be interesting to see how quickly things get back to normal after that — if they do.”

Another executive wasn’t excited about how other teams would approach trades thanks to Ainge’s work.

“I’m just dreading all the ridiculous things people are going to ask me to do now before we can get down to business.”

A league source didn’t like the package the Timberwolves gave up for Gobert.

“For Minnesota, man, that’s a reach. Even if they are much better, it’s hard to imagine them winning the west with all these teams in front of them. And then in a few years they’ll look down and see they don’t have a choice.”

On September 12, Ainge stated in a press conference that he made the moves he made because he didn’t think they played as a unit.

“What I saw during the season was a group of players who really didn’t believe in each other,” Ainge said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen. “I think individually they have determination. I just don’t think they did it together. So we saw a lot of players trying to do it on their own as the belief in each other wasn’t as great as other teams I’ve been on and been on.”

The Jazz have made the playoffs for six straight seasons, dating back to when they had Gordon Hayward in 2017. By swapping away their top two players, they signaled they were starting from scratch.

The Jazz have made the playoffs for six straight seasons, dating back to when they had Gordon Hayward in 2017. By swapping away their top two players, they signaled they were starting from scratch.

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