Hold your breath Celtics fans because another thing did not go your way. But do not be surprised.
The NBA off season is in full swing and deals and trades have been the high point so far. The most recent one was last night as the Indiana Pacers traded their all-star forward Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the Pacers acquiring guard Victor Oladipo and second-year big man Domantas Sabonis.
Again, if you are a Boston Celtics fan you are probably cringing and trying very hard not to throw something out a window. For weeks now NBA analysts and reporters have been speculating that the Celtics were in deep talks with the Pacers in order to acquire Paul George and they made it seem like this deal was going to fall through. However, that is obviously not the case because general manager Danny Ainge clearly does not have the guts to pull off trades that will help his team win now. He is too worried about keeping his draft picks that he has acquired over the years and keeping the Celtics roster mostly the same from last year than making the tough decisions to give up some of his assets in order to compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers and ultimately the Golden State Warriors.
The Boston Celtics started the off season off fairly well and Ainge did make the right decision to trade that number one pick in this years draft. However, that is all he did correctly. The Celtics first desperately wanted to snag Jimmy Butler during the draft because he had a more desirable contract and still had two years left on his contract while Paul George only has one year left and could just pack up and leave even if his presence did make the Celtics better.
As everyone knows the Celtics were obviously unsuccessful in getting Jimmy Butler on draft night as he was shipped off to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a box of chocolate and Taco Bell gift card. This first deal proves Danny Ainge could have given up so little in order to get Butler but he just could not find the guts to pull the trigger. The Celtics could have improved on the defensive side of the ball, added a mature veteran leader and simply have another player who can score the ball in multiple ways.
And now we move on to Paul George. Paul George was moved to the Oklahoma City Thunder for basically nothing. Victor Oladipo is a flashy guard who can score but had a hard time shooting the ball last season (44% from the field, 36% from three-point range) and Domantas Sabonis who is heading into his second year and still has not proven anything to anyone. Now Russell Westbrook will have another all-star he can drive out of town with his selfish play and ultimately being knocked out early in the playoffs and having Paul George leave for the Los Angeles Lakers which is where he really wanted to go in the first place.
So again the Boston Celtics could have had Paul George easily if Danny Ainge would just given up next years Brooklyn Nets pick and possibly a Jae Crowder or a Marcus Smart or just negotiating better with Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard because his leverage with Paul George was diminishing quickly and he needed to get rid of him quickly.
Now because many stated that Paul George would only come to the Celtics if the Celtics were able to lock up Gordon Hayward from the Utah Jazz seems ridiculous. All of these trade rumors coming out of the Celtics organization were just false, down right outrageous and hyped up their fans for no reason. They have truly let their fans down and now they will go another year without making it to the NBA finals and giving another clear path for the Cavaliers and Warriors to meet up again. It also makes no sense for the Celtics to go out and try to get Gordon Hayward now because he will not make Boston a better team and will definitely not be able to beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Next season the Celtics will obviously be a top team in the Eastern Conference just like last year and will probably make a deep playoff run because they are a team that is capable of obtaining at least 50 wins. Also the addition of Jayson Tatum through the draft was a fantastic pick and will help the Celtics with depth at the forward position while also giving them another scoring option. However, the Celtics still lack multiple scorers, three-point shooters and Isaiah Thomas, as a great teammate and player as he is, he is a liability as a defender while on the floor.
The Boston Celtics are the only team in the Eastern Conference that can compete with the Cleveland Cavaliers but it could have been so much better for them if they just were able to lock up at least two of this years top free agents or simply made a trade for an all-star that could have lifted them over the top and given them a chance to win a NBA championship.