The Boston Celtics are splashed out of the gates to kick off the 2020-21 NBA season, but the general manager and president of the basketball business says the team is actively trying to improve via the trading market.
During the off-season, the Celtics acquired a $ 28.5 million trade exemption as a result of signing and trading with Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets.
The full exception can only be used if the Celtics lose their salary – specifically the center Tristan Thompson’s salary, which makes $ 9.2 million and won’t be traded until February 28.
The Celtics could use much of the exception beforehand, but Ainge says it would take “really good business”.
“The challenge is that any deals you could do to gradually change your team could be closed shortly, in the next week or two. But are you missing out on an opportunity that would be better later?” added Ainge. “We have to identify that,” Ainge said in 98.5s The Sports Hub with Toucher and Rich.
But what makes the right deal for Ainge?
“I would say maybe shoot with size… there are a lot of different ways you can win in this league. We could shoot, we could pass. But you always need defense and our team is built on defense. We’ve won on defense in recent years. I know we didn’t win a championship, but we need defense. “
One player who is reportedly fit for the Celtics is Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings.
In 21 games this season, Barnes has averaged 17.2 PPG on a career high of 41% from three shots.
More importantly, Barnes would help Boston on the defensive.
Whatever Ainge ultimately does, one thing is clear: Boston (11-9) has to take a step to stand a chance of an NBA championship this season.