Article written by Dylan McGuire Devine (6/2/21)
Breaking news this morning came out that Boston Celtics GM, Danny Ainge is seriously considering his future with the team. When I say he is considering his future with the team, I don’t mean that he is looking to retire. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated has reported that if Ainge ultimately decides to leave the Celtics, he will explore other job opportunities. As a die hard Celtics fan, I have mixed feelings about this.
Ainge has had a very up and down GM career with the Celtics. He helped bring in the big three in 2007-08 which led to the Celtics 17th championship. This is obviously a big win for Ainge as a GM, but he hasn’t had too many wins since then in my opinion. Since 2010, the Celtics have had 17 first round draft picks. Out of 17, only six of those guys are players that are not considered to be busts. Obviously swapping picks with the Lakers in 2017 was a big deal with the Celtics drafting their now franchise player, Jayson Tatum. They also had a good first round pick in 2016 drafting Jaylen Brown who is the Celtics other star player.
One of Ainge’s biggest mistakes IMO and a decision that still infuriates me to this day is trading away Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving. Thomas was a proven star and was a top five MVP candidate in the 15-16 season. He put the team on his back and was the heart and soul of the Celtics. We traded him away because Ainge didn’t want to pay him a max contract and that’s the truth. We all know how this trade ended up with acquiring Kyrie and it’s not pretty. I am not going to even bother discussing my thoughts on Kyrie and his feelings/treatment towards the Celtics and Boston in general as that is an article for another time.
Since 2016 the Celtics have seemed to always be so close to making the NBA finals, but have always come up short. On top of that, every off-season or even during the season before the trade deadline we always seem to be “this close” to making a big move to improve the team, but Ainge never pulls the trigger. It has been very aggravating as a fan over the past few years knowing exactly what the team has needed but watching Ainge not do anything to make this team better. Having a new GM who is willing to take risks and make big moves could be exactly what this team needs.
On top of this news of Ainge possibly stepping down, we just got a Woj bomb that Celtics Head Coach, Brad Stevens is expected to become the new leader of Celtics basketball operations and will lead the Celtics search for a new Head Coach. It is being reported that Stevens has been worn down with coaching since the bubble and was open to a front office role. This is a lot of information to take in at once, but I think this is what is best for the Celtics. I am happy that Stevens is staying in Boston and will be pretty much taking over for Ainge. This team needs change and this change could be crucial.