With NBA trade deadline looming, Danny Ainge hints Boston Celtics might delay exercising their $28.5m exception till the offseason

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge
Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge
Chaitanya Sharma

As the 2020-21 NBA season inches closer to the March 25 trade deadline, Boston Celtics fans can't help but anticipate the big move that has the potential to change the fortunes of their team.

Although, it appears their fandom may not get to witness the team's $28.5 million traded-player exceptions play out just yet.

Boston Celtics president of operations Danny Ainge all but confirmed in an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub that he would wait until the offseason to use their trade exception, which happens to be the largest in league history.

Ainge is not interested in bringing over a player they can't retain in the long run. This may turn out to be the case with history firmly supporting the assumption. The Boston Celtics have a six-year-long streak of inaction in the trade market.

Ainge also hinted in the interview that the Boston Celtics are not amenable to using the full exception on one player.

During the interview, Ainge was asked for his reaction to potential lashing out by the fans for his decision not to use the trade exception before the deadline. “I live in a different world than the world of Twitter,” he answered, saying most trade speculation is “not even real.”

Danny Ainge hints Boston Celtics could delay using the largest trade exception in league history till the offseason

Jayson Tatum #0, Kemba Walker #8, Daniel Theis #27 and Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum #0, Kemba Walker #8, Daniel Theis #27 and Payton Pritchard #11 of the Boston Celtics

He further added that he is not inclined to make a deal just to counter the Brooklyn Nets' recent trade move, adding former All-Star Blake Griffin to their roster. He also pushed back on the criticism, indicating the Boston Celtics' lack of trade moves last season had anything to do with them not making it to the NBA Finals.

“I didn’t know Gordon Hayward was going to get hurt in the first playoff game,” he said. “I think we still beat Miami if we’re healthy. But that’s just part of the game. That had nothing to do with the trade deadline, what we were willing to do or not willing to do. That’s not true.”

Ainge then shared his concerns about this year's average crop of free-agents in the market and the implications that come with it. He fears this could force the Boston Celtics to potentially lose out on players looking for a big payday at the end of the campaign.

However, Ainge closed out by saying he “would not eliminate doing a deal for this year” and that the executives in the front office are busy talking to potential trade partners.

There is additional reporting in the media that suggests the Boston Celtics have made an offer for Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant, but the latter are not interested in parting ways with their rising star as of now.

Edited by Rohit Mishra


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