Celtics

Danny Ainge says he is willing to trade for stars with no long-term commitment

(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Amid a very tumultuous past 72 hours on the NBA landscape, Danny Ainge his first public comments on Thursday morning in his weekly interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub since Anthony Davis made his trade request public.

Ainge obviously could not get into any specifics on the topic of Davis due to the tampering issue, but Toucher and Rich did their best to pepper him with hypotheticals to get a clearer view of his line of thinking. A few of the highlights of the discussion:

On whether he would trade for a player with no reassurance they would stay long-term: “Yes. But it depends on the situation. It depends on the player, the circumstances and the package you have to trade for him. We’ve had a chance to do it and have done it, and we’ve had a chance to do it and have not done it.”

The Celtics have gone down this road on a number of occasions over the past decade, with the most success coming with Kevin Garnett agreeing to an extension as part of the trade to land him in 2008. Kyrie Irving also did not give Boston any long-term assurances after he arrived in August 2017. It's not clear who specifically Ainge is referring to when it comes to guys they have not done it with, but some clear-cut candidates in the last few years including Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, as the Celtics were active in trade talks for all three of those players at one point or another.

Other hot topics Ainge covered

Is the Rose Rule preventing the Celtics from trading for Davis now fair? "There is no way around it. And it doesn’t matter what I think if it’s fair. I don’t get a vote in it. It is what it is.”

On whether he has reached out to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown regarding trade rumors: “Yes I do have to speak to players about rumors. Sometimes they come to me and I tell them the truth. Sometimes I reach out if a guy is in a rumor and I tell them what’s going on. I have reached out to them. I try and educate them on the basketball world. They’re young guys. I try to keep them from getting distracted. Sometimes the NBA is more about the drama off-court than the play on-court.”

On players making midseason trade demands: “I’m not a fan of it. I wish those things didn’t happen. It’s not what the league is about. But just because you are a star player doesn’t mean you are in the right position to win. I understand where those players are coming from. It’s a different world now.”

Amid reports circulating that Irving is not considered by some to be a lock to stay in Boston, Ainge was also asked about his All-Star point guard's status with the team.

“I talk to Kyrie all the time. My feelings have not changed," Ainge said. "I feel like Kyrie likes it in Boston, but I certainly can’t talk about Kyrie’s impending free agency. That’s taboo, and we won’t know anything until July for certain. But I’m optimistic...We need to sell our players and our team that this is the place they want to be. Of course, we want to keep Kyrie and time will tell.”

BSJ Analysis: All things considered, Ainge was a lot more