At least Danny Ainge is being honest.
The Boston Celtics team president of basketball operations knows his team’s limits this year and this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub, he clarified where he thinks his team is destined this season.
“I don’t think so, no.” Ainge said on air when asked if he thought he had a championship caliber team. “I don’t think we’re built for a championship right now, no.”
Certainly, the Celtics have been playing strong basketball lately. They have won their past four games and in each of their last ten games, they have scored at least 100 points.
Currently 26-21, the Celtics are in fifth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference — 7.5 games out of first place behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The way teams have been playing lately, there is a real chance the Celtics could rise up to third place soon because all that separates them from the Atlanta Hawks is one game. And both the Hawks and Chicago Bulls, the third and fourth place teams, have not been playing well as of late.
The Celtics are in position to make the playoffs which means that there is some sort of a percent chance that they could win the NBA Championship this year. And the Celtics have pieces to move.
As of right now, they have 17 draft picks in the next three NBA drafts (eight first rounders and nine second rounders). Keep in mind an NBA roster only has 15 players on it at any given time.
Could the Celtics could move some of those picks prior to the February 18 trade deadline in hopes of bolstering their team this season? Sure. But they won’t.
“I can’t put myself in that position, because then you do silly things,” Ainge said on the radio. “I would like to do something to put us in that position (to win a championship), of course.
“Every day I’m thinking and trying to come up with ways to do that. But it’s just not that simple. A lot of the mistakes that are made around our league is people trying to do something too fast; they’re impatient and they panic.
“We’re definitely not in a panic mode. We have objectives that we would like to accomplish, but you have to make a good deal. We can’t just say we want to win a championship and are going to get so-and-so. It’s not that simple.”
Simply put, the Golden State Warriors are probably going to repeate — and there is no sense wasting resources trying to compete with them.
There’s always next year.