Danny Ainge must be spending more time in his office right now than in his house, spending more time glued to the phone than trying to get something to eat. I can picture him already as a second version of Doctor House standing close to a whiteboard with a marker and asking for opinion to his staff for options to fill up the roster. The Celtics have only 10 players available, with one player already being a NBDL project in Fab Melo.
Consider this the start of a more than intense period of eight days until the trade deadline, which could also be extending to the period after it in which teams release some free agents. So Danny, get ready for a good catering service, some pizza ordering or some tupperware madness until the month of March. And also, make sure your position while speaking on the phone is the correct one, you may forget that you will be actually speaking on the phone while sleeping in the office.
Humorous comments aside, the Celtics are active looking for help. And Ainge is looking at every angle and with each and all perspectives for the potential signings in a depleted roster:
“Immediately we will probably bring someone in on a 10-day contract, and we’re going through all those names. There’s a lot of names actually, but it’s going to be very difficult to replace Leandro Barbosa.” (...)
“There are guys playing all around the world, and I need to figure out when they may become available with their contracts,” said Ainge. “So there’s a lot to go through here.
In any case, I would think Danny´s easiest way for moves right now is to bring someone from Maine, and Shelvin Mack was the hot name out there last night.
Ainge shares some of the thoughts he is having in the trade front as the deadline approaches:
The problem with trades now is we don’t have enough bodies to trade,” Ainge said. “Like, we can’t afford to trade a big for a guard. It’s not like we have an excess amount of anything. We have nine or 10 players, and we’re not trading draft picks unless someone really special becomes available.” (...)
My speculation here is that his trading assets are mainly Bass and in a lesser extent, Lee. He may be hinting that he won´t be looking to use Bass in order to get a guard there. Then again, it´s very difficult to make trades when you have a limited roster and you don´t want to touch your core (which by the way seems to be the course to follow after this winning streak).
Ainge continues to give some clues about the kind of player he is looking for:
We need someone that can help us more now. If there’s a decent player that could contribute some now and might have a bright future, we’d look at that as well, but I think that’s less likely at this moment. But we’d really like to get someone who could step in and play an important role right away, if we can.”This may mean they are looking more at veteran players with experience that can contribute now rather than looking at raw players with a great upside. That would make the NBDL option just a way to stop the bleeding in the next week but not the way to do it after that.
Ainge finally explains how devastating the loss of Barbosa has been, and the difficulties to get a player of his level with a contract situation as favorable as Leandro´s:
“Even with the tax threshold that we were working under this summer, we signed Barbosa because we knew that there’s no way we could find a player of his quality available throughout the course of the year,” said Ainge. “We knew that it was a luxury for us to do that, but we calculated that, ‘Hey, listen, this guy is too good of a player to find if something happens.’ Leandro was a luxury for us when we signed him.
So there you have some food for thought as we await for the All Star Weekend to bring some much needed rest for our injury depleted roster. There are some moves ahead, probably some free agent and / or NBDL signings to be made coupled with a probable minor trade in the works by the trade deadline next week. In the meantime we have a very interesting game against Chicago tonight.
Stay tuned for updates.
|Actually, this is a picture of Danny Ainge now|