Ainge is holding off on the buyout market, for now
Danny Ainge spoke with the media yesterday about the Boston Celtics roster spot that's been opened up since they shipped Jabari Bird to the Atlanta Hawks at the trade deadline. While the C's certainly will fill that roster spot at some point, Ainge noted that he's in no rush to do so. Via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:
“We looked at all the players that were in buyout situations and players in the G League and so forth,” Ainge said Friday. “But, I mean, a lot of guys in the buyout market are looking for commitments and promises to play, and we don’t have minutes. And when we’re healthy, we have plenty of guys. We don’t have an obvious hole.”
We broke down the potential buyout candidates and how each could ideally bolster the Celtics roster at length on the CLPod after the deadline, and our guy Justin Quinn put together an extensive breakdown on the blog as well. Some of those potential additions have already found themselves new homes elsewhere, but when we discussed the guys that were available (or that we assumed would/could become available) we noted that the depth of our current roster would certainly be a roadblock to obtaining any of them.
The Celtics do have their midlevel exception ($5.3 million) available to entice a free agent, as they did last season when they were able to acquire the biggest buyout prize after the deadline in Greg Monroe. The difference this year is while they have a significant financial incentive to offer, plus a team primed for a deep postseason run, they can't guarantee potential suitors will get to see the floor.
One of the biggest hurdles that coach Brad Stevens has had this season is spreading around minutes to his deep roster, and since none of the players on the buyout market jumped off the page as an upgrade for the C's at any position it makes it difficult to tell anybody they'd have a definitive role with the team.
Ainge has seen how quickly things can change though, with the Celtics losing several key players to season-ending injuries just last year. He's content to see how things play out over the next week or so before filling the back end of his roster:
“I hope nothing happens to any of our players between now and the next couple weeks,” Ainge said. “But in case something does, we may have a hole that we need to fill more. But until then we just keep it open and see what we need.”
When asked about adding someone on a two-year deal that could potentially be moved in the offseason in a deal:
“We’ve looked at all those possibilities, yeah. We’re just waiting to see. Nothing is in the works.”
While the Celtics would likely have to overpay a player destined for the end of an NBA bench to accept a guaranteed two-year deal, it would certainly be helpful for the Celtics as filler in a trade this offseason and also hold some value as an expiring contract for any potential trade partner.