Ainge reportedly targeted Stevens from the start

Here's another reason not to believe GMs when they say things publicly.

According to the Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes, Danny Ainge had been targeting new head coach Brad Stevens well before Doc Rivers left for Hollywood.

At some point, though, Ainge had been seriously considering another candidate to become the next head coach of the Celtics, a candidate that Ainge had, in fact, been eyeing all along in case Rivers ultimately departed: Butler University’s Brad Stevens

If you remember, Ainge said repeatedly at his press conference after Rivers went to L.A. that he hadn't reached out to a single coaching candidate and he never thought Rivers would leave Boston. Fast forward a little over a week later and the Celtics have a new head coach that Ainge has apparently been targeting for a while.

Why would Ainge be lining up replacements for Rivers if he thought Doc was coming back up until Rivers was actually out of town?

The half-truths and outright lies are not Ainge's fault. Those who are in charge of the wheeling and dealing for sports franchises need to be deceptive. Negotiating truthfully in public is really only a one way street and allows another team to "see your hand" so to speak while they keep their intentions hidden.

It's all part of the game. If you say a player is not going to be traded, you may hope a team wanting that player will then up their offer thinking you may be serious. In this case, if you say it'll take some time before you find a head coach, it gives you some leeway to go talk to Stevens privately without upsetting Butler with the talks becoming public.

Always remember to take what a GM says with a grain of salt. Are the Celtics really going to tank for a great draft pick next year and is Rajon Rondo really sticking around? The only one who can really answer those questions right now is Ainge, just don't expect an honest answer.

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