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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.

Boston Celtics

The Good, the Better and the Best

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Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Well if this wasn’t the worst week in Boston Sports history then I don’t what is. Now that I think of it, this month of October has arguably been the worst month ever, for Boston fans. The Sox are done, the Pats are neck-and-neck with the Jets in the AFC East and the Celtics are currently 0-2. There’s just no salvation to be found!

By now, all of us have fully absorbed the magnitude of Gordon Hayward’s injury. And the prognosis will certainly not put a smile on your face, nor will the trajectory of this Celtics team, as they are still searching for their first win. If that’s not frustrating enough for you, Marcus Smart is out for tonight’s game with an ankle injury.

Man, New England is in dire need of a pick-me-up. Have no fear. I am here to answer the call.

Rather than doing another installment of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (where I mostly enumerate the worst things in Boston Sports) let’s do something a little more positive. This city needs a big injection of enthusiasm and I’ve come to provide it.

It’s time for the first ever (and probably only) edition of The Good, the Better and the Best.

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Gordon Hayward Likely Out For Season, Celtics Looking For Answers

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Gordon Hayward

Not a shock, but it is looking like Gordon Hayward‘s season is over.

After the completion of his surgery in Boston on Wednesday night, it was being reported that Hayward would likely miss the entire season with his ankle injury.

According to Hayward’s agent Mark Bartelstein Hayward is unlikely to return this season, but that he is expected to ” make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form.”

Of course, there is the chance he returns in some type of playoff-bound scenario, but that thought has to be a long ways away. For the moment it is important to figure out what this team can do this season without an all-star forward in the mix.

This will mean added pressure to superstar guard Kyrie Irving and the longest tenured Celtic Marcus Smart. Even without Hayward this Celtics team still should be in the top of the Eastern Conference conversation like they were last season. They are essentially last years team now with a better point guard.

There will be an overreliance on Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But if those two young players can pull through you could see a Celtics team that could be set up better over the long haul than if Hayward was healthy.

Unfortunately for Brad Stevens and company the Boston Celtics have opened their campaign 0-2 and will now look to find themselves moving forward.

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The “Green” Lining

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Boston Celtics

Not to understate the solemnity of Gordon Hayward‘s injury, but the Boston Celtics are going to be just fine.

Saying, that without one player, the C’s are done for presupposes that this team is short on talent. It’s not.

When a newly acquired superstar goes down, it’s hard for fans to manufacture any positivity. Especially when such a thing happens during the first quarter of the season-opener. But let’s try to take a look at the implications of Hayward’s injury, without myopic jumpiness.

The 2017-18 season is very far from over for the Celtics. Gordon Hayward dislocating his ankle did not fracture Boston’s playoff hopes.

There are a few reassuring abstractions to be made from the box score of Tuesday night’s game, in which Hayward suffered the gruesome left leg injury.

Yes, the C’s lost to the Cavs 99-102, but this team passionately competed. And they mustered up the resolve to do so with one of their best players being escorted to the hospital.

This fact alone suggests that there are guys on this team who are willing, and able, to attempt to fill Gordon Hayward’s Nikes.

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