New Year, Same Danny Ainge as Deadline Hits


As another NBA trade deadline hits, the Celtics once again find themselves in the thick of things when it comes to trade rumors. 

Photo courtesy of: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

It has been a reoccurring theme over the past five years or so.  Names like Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond and what seems like hundreds of others have been the so-called targets for Danny Ainge and his front office. 

None of them have ended up in Boston. 

Like death and taxes, Boston supposedly pulling the trigger and trading for a big name has been the talk of the town right before the deadline for years now.  Fans hear the rumors, they get excited and then they sit back and watch "Trader Danny" fail to live up to his nickname yet again. 

This year's names include Drummond once again, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Harrison Barnes and Lonzo Ball.  There is nothing better than a new slate of names for that same old feeling of disappointment. 

At this point, the chances of Ainge actually going out and making a move are slim to none.  Fans should not expect this team to look any different come March 26, but of course they will still be hoping it does. 

Based on Ainge's behavior at previous deadlines and the fact that he has stated he would prefer to use the TPE this offseason, chances are this team is going to continue to loom right around .500 and sit at the back end of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. 

The most concerning part about the situation at hand is that Ainge knows this team is not at the level it needs to be at to compete for a title.  He even said so back in February.  If he does not make a move before the deadline officially hits at 3 p.m. ET, it makes it seem like the general manager of one of the league's most storied franchises has officially given up on this season, and that right there is a mindset that never bodes well in Beantown. 

It is understandable that Ainge does not have high hopes for this season since the team sits at 21-23 after last night's loss to the Bucks, but no moves are being made to fix the problem.  Celtics fans are relentless; they want their teams to win.  If there has been any year in recent memory where change is needed, it's this one. 

Even when the Celtics were seemingly one piece away from making a potential push for Banner 18, Ainge still did not pull the trigger.  Boston has lost in the Eastern Conference Finals three of the last four years and came within one game of the Finals during the 2017-18 season.  When the team had Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, many thought the Celtics were just one piece away from the promised land, but that piece never came. 

So, what in the world is Danny Ainge waiting for?  Why does the man continuously stack draft picks like he's in an arms race during the Cold War?  He's had the assets to make a move, but why does it never come? 

Fans have been searching for answers to these questions for far too long.  And today, against everyone's wishes, it's more likely than not that the search will continue. 

Follow Nick on Twitter: @thenickgalle

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Boston Sports Syndicate: New Year, Same Danny Ainge as Deadline Hits
New Year, Same Danny Ainge as Deadline Hits
Boston Sports Syndicate
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