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Danny Ainge Is Looking To Make The Boston Celtics Great

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Celtics Team President Danny Ainge Is Looking To Make The Boston Celtics Great, Not Good

The Boston Celtics are a good basketball team, not a great one. They achieved alot in a 53-win season that saw them atop the Eastern Conference standings only to get obliterated by an elite Cleveland Cavaliers team. Team President Danny Ainge understands it take a great squad to win championships, and that this current team is not that.

So when Ainge comes out and talks about this, one can assume a lot is to come for this Boston Celtics franchise.

“I know that we’re good. I know that we’re not great,” Ainge, whose Celtics squad made a five-win improvement, from 48 wins in 2016 to 53 wins this year, said. “I know that we still have more to do, and, you know, that next step is by far the hardest.”

The current Celtic core is led by players like Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas, but after them there is a steep drop off. Sure an Avery Bradley or a Marcus Smart is a nice complimentary pieces, but when Jae Crowder is your starting small forward you are going to run into problems when you face LeBron James. Trader Danny illustrated the concept of having good players, but not great players.

“We have a lot of good players,” Ainge noted, “but we need some great ones.”

The names of worth when looking into acquisitions are headlined by similar names that have been spewed the last several months. You have unrestricted forward Gordon Hayward who played for Brad Stevens at Butler. Then in the trade hunt you have players such as forward Paul George and guard Jimmy Butler. Or in the pipedream realm you have trade ideas for Anthony Davis or Blake Griffin.

Boston Celtics

Celtics Have A Full Roster With Not Alot Of Minutes Up For Grabs At The Moment

The Boston Celtics have nine players under contract for next season (10 if they exercise a team option on Jordan Mickey), and there’s simply not enough room for the Celtics to make an impactful addition without freeing up some of the minutes logged by those nine players. The Celtics also have just one more year before guys like Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart get significant raises, which could be in Boston or elsewhere. The current contracts and expiring deals are ones that Ainge knows he has to juggle.

“We have a lot of players. We have a lot of depth, and we have guys that want to play, that deserve to play. And I don’t think our roster is as balanced as it needs to be,” said Danny Ainge. “So, yes, we have a lot of very difficult decisions. And there will be difficult decisions in free agency and who to allocate the money to, difficult decisions in the draft, difficult decisions with opportunities to make trades — no different than trade deadline times.”

If the Celtics do indeed trade for a Butler or a George, it would likely take the 18 Brooklyn pick and in addition you would try and attach Crowder in that as well to free up minutes. Also if they use the number 1 pick on Fultz they will have to free time up on guard, which could mean they would trade one of their current expiring guards for a rebounder which they could also use.

For Danny Ainge though all of this is easier said then done.

“Just because you’re one piece away doesn’t mean you can get it,” Ainge admitted. “And if you force yourself to get it, and if you force a deal or force yourself to get the second-best available or the third- or fourth-best available player at that position that you need, then it might not make you that much better or make you still not good enough, and you’re stuck.

The Celtics have the luxury of being in a very nice position with an already solid roster and an arsenal of draft picks and sizable cap room to add another max contract this offseason. The options are plentiful and franchise altering, but the chances of a Celtics banner in the next five years looks good.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Neck-Deep Edition

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Patriots

It feels like New England Sports is currently being buried – in snow, controversies and soul-decimating losses.

The recent Patriots victory over the Steelers has been tarnished by subsequent internal-fighting. And over the past couple of weeks, the Boston Celtics have been defeated by some of the most middling of NBA teams.

The only auspicious emblem to be found would be the Bruins, who have won 3 games in a row. If the season ended today, the B’s would make the playoffs! But don’t worry, they’ll find a way to self-destruct before the season actually ends.

So when you’re neck-deep in it, like we presently find ourselves, what do you do? You shovel yourself out. Let this article be your utensil of liberation! It’s time for another installment of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Neck Deep Edition.

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The Celtics Have a Bench Problem

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Jayson Tatum

With the Celtics suffering a nonplussing loss at the hands of the Utah Jazz, it’s become apparent: This bench is gonna need some help. And they’re going to have to find this help from within themselves.

Ever since he was acquired from the Pistons, Marcus Morris was expected to be the most talented asset on the Celtics bench. Morris has the skills to be a secondary powerhouse in the NBA. Just last season, for Detroit, Morris averaged 14.0 PPG and just about 5 RPG.

But unfortunately his young tenure in Boston has deteriorated into “what ifs”.

Marcus has been afflicted with a lancinating and unrelenting pain in his left knee. Not only did he miss the start of the season, but he’s been sidelined yet again by this tenacious problem.

Without Morris on the court, Boston’s bench lacks that veteran’s heart and wisdom that he provides. They also are mathematically short in the scoring department, without the versatile big man.

As we saw Friday night at the Garden, somebody is going to need to step up – and fast.

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Jayson Tatum’s Patience: The Deciding Factor

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Jayson Tatum

There is currently a preponderance of NBA rookies who are dominating the league. We’re talking about 20-somethings (some even younger than that) leading their teams in nearly every statistical category.

This is no longer your father’s NBA.

Gone are the days of “earning your stripes”. In today’s game, if a player has the talent he’s going to be encouraged to use it.

Our favorite youngling, here in Boston, is unanimously Jayson Tatum. This 19-year-old kid has stormed the Garden like some new-school Larry BirdPaul Pierce hybrid. He’s the futuristic embodiment of “Celtics Basketball” – the silhouette for Boston’s modern logo.

But Tatum’s not even the superlative of this year’s rookie class!

Many “Green Teamers” would argue the cockeyed contention that Jayson Tatum is a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year. As heartening as it may be for the flourishing freshman to hear such high praise, it still stems from unchecked fandom.

I swear, there must be something circulating around the Charles River. It seems that Boston has become more and more generous, in recent years, when it comes to appraising young talent.

In every sport, we’re ready to give our kindergarteners their high school diploma, the very second they demonstrate their ability.

The homer expectations, surrounding Jayson Tatum, are in need of an adjustment. Let’s take a look at a few rookies, who are ahead of Tatum in the primary categories.

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