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It's ironic that the team with the leprechaun mascot is the team without luck in their latest team building efforts. The Sporting News' Sean Deveney's take on the Celtics' rebuild argues that the only thing missing in Ainge's blueprint is a little bit of the luck of the Irish:

This is the issue with rebuilding that is so often under-appreciated: You’ve got to be lucky. It has nothing to do with the tired trope about free agents not wanting to sign in Boston. Free agents don’t really like signing anywhere new. They mostly like to stay put, or to be traded before free agency. Ask DeAndre Jordan about that.

The more the media dispels the notion that free agents don't want to come to Boston, the better. Very few big name free agents switched teams this year, and I'd rather have Amir Johnson's contract than have shelled out $54m over 4 years for Robin Lopez. But it's fair to wonder when this rebuild could accelerate.

Somewhere along the line, something improbable has to happen that shakes free a star player and sends him your way. A general manager in this league can do everything exactly as he should, can plan for trades and free agency carefully and wisely. But he can’t force players like Harden or Howard onto the market — or a guy like Garnett back in 2007, when the Celtics were last able to cash in assets and turn themselves into contenders. Ainge also couldn’t force Michael Jordan to give up his crush on Frank Kaminsky and trade the No. 9 pick.

For Celtics fans, this sentiment is one part validation and two parts frustration. Between the Kevin Love flirtations and some unfriendly lottery ball bounces, the next big piece hasn't fallen into place for the Celtics. Danny Ainge might be doing everything he can, but that doesn't mean the next great Celtics team is just around the corner. It's like Deveney says:

If you’re running an NBA team, all you can do is keep your roster flexible and your draft-pick balance sheet stocked in your favor. Then you can only wait. It’s a bit like fishing. You might have some excellent new hip waders and the perfect lures, and you might cast a thousand times, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to catch anything.

Hopefully a young team with a young coach can continue to make strides year after year as Ainge continues to cast away, waiting to reel in the missing piece that will be the key to the Celtics' next contending team.


Photo Credit AP/Steven Senna

Paul Colahan 9/10/2015 02:32:00 PM Edit
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