Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge talks trade partners

"Send this one to Dallas. . . and this one to Phoenix. Memphis. Los Angeles. . . Oh! And send this next package to. . ."
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has worked directly with many executives of the nine teams he has found as trading partners this season. Among them include Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson (worked under Ainge in Phoenix), Suns GM Ryan McDonaugh, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace and the Clippers' Doc Rivers (each worked under Ainge in Boston). In an interesting interview with Bleacher Report, he focused on these relationships, explaining that they are more fertile grounds for potential deals:

"I think it’s easier to talk to people you know," Ainge said. "The better you know them, the easier it is to deal with them. Ultimately, still, in most deals, it’s all dependent on the transaction involved, more than any personal relationship. A personal relationship is not necessary or mandatory in any dealings, but I think it does help and increase the odds of making a deal, if there is a deal [to be made], sure."

Ainge said that he prefers to trade with those he knows partly because it eliminates risks. The Celtics' GM touched on the concern of organizations that may be likely to leak information to the media:

"I think it is a concern. There are a lot of leaks in a lot of organizations. We take notice of what gets out when we talk with other teams and how those things are leaked, so that might prevent us from making a phone call in a sensitive situation until we know for sure. There are all sorts of exploratory conversations and then there are real conversations."

When asked if the possibility of leaked information could deter him from making a deal, Ainge gave a contingent answer and remained adamant he will work with anyone:

"They could, if we thought it would get out. Listen, you don’t ever prevent yourself from doing a deal you want to do, but it might prevent you from exploring it more if you feel like they are a team that talks to the media."

"There’s no team I will not talk to. You just have to deal with the [outside factors]."

It seems natural that trading with people he has better relationships with is the more effective method for Ainge. I would imagine sensing either disconnect or traction on a deal would be much easier with familiar people. In any event, it's good to see Ainge is quite willing to make the phone call, whether it is a friend on the other line or not. With the Celtics being rumored in several exploratory talks, we know Ainge, who has been active on the trade front all season, is at least window shopping.

The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 PM ET. Time is ticking.

For the full Bleacher Report interview with Danny Ainge, follow this link.