Thursday, August 09, 2007

The moves of the Boston Celtics

I was talking with a buddy about the Celtics today and it finally struck me what I like so much about what Danny Ainge and the Celtics did this off-season acquiring both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Too often teams over value their own talent. The Celtics did the opposite. Some of their players were nice but none of them were anything special. Al Jefferson is currently overvalued because he put up good numbers on a bad team. He is a nice player, but not a star player and to win you must get a star player.

Teams do the young re-building thing all the time. It doesn't work unless you get a star. The NBA is a star's league. The Celtics didn't have a star so they moved a bunch of acquired assets and got established players. The day the Blazers and the Sonics won the lottery the Celtics made the correct decision to move all their assets. Had they got Durant or Oden they would have seemingly had their star.

I can't tell you how many times talking to a GM I have heard how one of his players is really going to be fantastic in a few years so we can't move him now. Every now and again a Rashard Lewis comes around who actually develops, but more often than not it never happens. Which means teams hold onto potential that never develops.

It is refreshing to see someone do the opposite. A tip of the hat to Danny Ainge and the Celtics.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree about teams overvaluing their own calling Luke Ridnour a cornerstone of the Sonics. I think part of it is the ego of the GM, which is understandable. You make a decision and you gotta stand by it.

GunnarZeke said...


Can't wait to see him play with the Celtics in Indiana next season.

Anonymous said...

Ainge moved offensive players for better ones and Garnett's D at this age. He kept his better young defenders to help with that. It appears pretty well thought out and the fact that he got it executed deserves even more credit. Does he have right mix, enough defense? Enough to get to playoffs...not sure how far they go but they are in the game.

Boston only out of playoffs two years. Seemed longer than that.
Mortgaged the long term for the next 3 years. Probably had to to keep fans and owners from going berserk.

Sonics talk about long sustainable success. How many years of nonplayoffs to get there? 2? 4?
It will be an interesting case study to follow.

Anonymous said...

Danny Ainge has not been a very good GM. His moves this offseason really suprised me! He took a bad situation (not getting a top two draft pick) and has turned it into a team with a lot of buzz heading into the season. It will be interesting to see how they fill out their roster, and who is going to play defense, but in a weak East, it should be enough.

Paul Martin, Lakewood

Anonymous said... Paul Pierce is not a "star player?" No mention of him in this lousy article.

SuperDave/bedir than average said...

anon @ 10:39

Why in the world would a write-up on the value of two trades talk about a guy that started and ended the offseason with the club?

If there is someone out there that didn't know Pierce was on the Celtics they aren't reading this blog.


Overvaluing players is a part of the business. It happens in every sport. The Mariners could have had the world had they parted with Ryan Anderson before his first shoulder injury. Sure he got hurt and that ruined it all, but still.

I am no fan of Danny Ainge. I think these two trades somehow worked themselves out. After the Ray Allen trade, fans were calling for his head. If Minnesota wasnt in such dire need of a change, they wouldnt have Garnett. I think it was a matter of just having the right hand at the time. Boston will be fun to watch this season. Ainge has luckily saved his job for a couple years.