PLUS/MINUS: Does Danny Ainge "Love" fireworks?

PLUS/MINUS is a weekly column that makes five hypothetical statements about the state of the Boston Celtics. PLUS means you agree, MINUS means you don’t. These statements deal with beyond the boxscore factors and dig deep to find the true value these athletes bring to Boston.

This week Burak Terkin, Clint Corey, and Padraic O'Connor discuss the Celtics snapping a nine game losing skid at the end of the 2013-14 season and its implications on the draft , how long Rondo should stick around during the rebuilding era, and if Kevin Love will be lighting off Danny Ainge's "fireworks." 

The Celtics snapping a nine game losing streak by winning two games to end the season was probably the worst possible thing that could have happened to this team.

Burak Terkin: Minus. As I have tried to explain here, the Celtics just had to snap that losing streak. When you have quality players and a young bench who want to prove themselves, you are gonna win some games here and there. Instead of tying with the Magic for the 3rd best odds, we are now tied with the Jazz for the 4th best odds. It was bad to lose, but it definitely wasn't the "worst possible thing".

Clint Corey: Minus. The lottery is still a chance proposition and Boston needed to get some wins for the morale of the players.

Padraic O’Connor: Plus. I was anti-tanking all season long, but when you’re that close to nearly guaranteeing your franchise a top three pick you have to do it. Considering what they had to work with this season, the Celtics were phenominal. There was only a handful of games where they looked “bad.” Most of the games they played they were in it the entire way through. They played hard and couldn’t finish. That is what I walked away thinking after 90% of their losses. Snapping the nine game skid wouldn’t have fostered a losing culture, it would have helped gain a better draft pick that would help build a winning culture over the next few years.

If the "rebuild will take several years" chatter is true, trading Rajon Rondo is a must-do move for the Celtics.

Burak Terkin: Minus. Well, I might regret that minus if Rondo doesn't re-sign next year, but I think there's a chance that the Celtics can do something really big either this offseason or the next and pair up Rondo with an All-Star. Holding onto Rondo unless someone makes a ridiculous offer is a risk I'd be willing to take.

Clint Corey: Minus. Depends on what the definition of several is. If it's three Rondo will have grown with the team as well as still being just 31.

Padraic O’Connor: Minus. Minus all day long. Rajon Rondo is our guy. He’s the draw for this team- not only for the fans, but for athletes in the NBA. If people come to Boston, a big part of it will be to play alongside Rondo. You have to keep him until you can’t afford not to.

The fireworks that Danny Ainge mentioned setting off is making a run at Kevin Love.

Burak Terkin: Plus. The Celtics just have to make a run at Love (I think Simmons had also written a piece about that), and I just can't see any other firework source out there in this offseason.

Clint Corey: minus. Could be any number of moves depending on the draft, trades and what happens in free agency.

Padraic O’Connor: Plus. I think Kevin Love has been the prime target all season long. I’m tentative to give up what it is going to take to get him (i.e. Jared Sullinger), but he is probably the best fit for Boston of all the players that could be on the move.

Gordon Hayward’s name has been tossed around, but as a restricted free agent, his price might go beyond what the Celtics are willing to pay. The timing for Kevin Love may just be better as limited x-factors will be driving up his asking price, with x-factors being any team with cap space showering him with money.

Sure- lots of teams could make offers, but the Love trade will be dealing with more assets and picks as opposed to cap room. Assets and picks is something the Celtics have a lot of, so I’d expect Love to remain in the bullseye of Danny Ainge’s dart board.

Danny Ainge should be in serious contention for executive of the year.

Burak Terkin: Minus. If Ainge had taken over the GM position from another in the beginning of the year, I would have considered him a contender. However, he's the same guy who have signed Bass and Green to sorta bad contracts previously, so I think that carries on.

Clint Corey: Minus - maybe in a couple of years if we see the moves he makes now have long term positive consequences as they did this season for Daryl Morey in Houston.

Padraic O’Connor: Plus. Danny Ainge sees the entire chessboard. He has amassed 17 first and second round picks over the next few years, has signed an AWESOME coach in Brad Stevens, and has made Rajon Rondo feel like this team is his to mold, guide, and lead. The NBA is about managing egos and Danny Ainge is about as good a manager as one can find.

Ending up with anything less than a top 5 pick, and you would consider this entire season a complete failure.

Burak Terkin: Minus. In every "deep" draft, there is at least one top-5 picking team that messes up and passes on a couple of really good, or at least better talents out there. (1984 Bowie & Perkins over Thorpe, Willis and Stockton, 1996 Camby over Bryant & Nash, 2003 Milicic over anyone else etc.) Ending up with a bad pick would make this season really unlucky, but not a complete failure as I believe that the Celtics did almost everything they could.

Clint Corey: minus. Olynyk and Sullinger got some good minutes this season, Bradley's shooting improved immensely but the question mark remains can he stay healthy and Rondo got back on the floor and was able to get some of his timing back.

Lottery wise I see this draft as four deep regarding impact players in this order:

  1. Embiid 
  2. Jabari Parker
  3. Dante Exum
  4. Andrew Wiggins

If we receive anything outside of a top four pick I will be disappointed but will far from consider the season a failure.

Padraic O’Connor: Plus. The Celtics traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to rebuild as quickly as possible. If this season doesn’t result in a potential superstar than this was all for not. Speaking as a fan and a season ticket holder, I would have rather had one more year in the sun with The Truth, The Big Ticket, and Doc Rivers on a farewell/blaze of glory tour than wind up with the seventh pick in a “loaded” draft that is seemingly only really about three guys.

If the Celtics get lower than the fifth pick, then I’ll deal with it, but I won’t be happy about it. I’d rather “mishandle for Randle” than “not be good and get Rodney Hood.”

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor