NBA Rumors: Celtics GM Danny Ainge Reveals Major Plan Before February Trade Deadline

General manager Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics speaks with the media during Boston Celtics Media Day on September 26, 2016 in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Tim Bradbury / Getty Images

Having a plethora of trade assets, Boston Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge is expected to be very aggressive on the trade market before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, compared to the previous years, Ainge revealed in an interview with Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that the Celtics are currently not in an urgency to make any big moves or major roster improvements.

“There’s a lot of really good players in the NBA, so there’s always players that you can potentially get,” Ainge said.

“But I don’t go into a trade deadline with any more stress or pressure that I have to do something to get better. I don’t see it like that. If a deal is there that we like, we do it. If there’s no deals that we like, we don’t do it.”

It won’t definitely be a surprise if Ainge and the Celtics really decide to remain silent before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. The Celtics are currently the second-best team in the Eastern Conference with a 26-11 record. Though some people have doubts if they can beat Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers in a best-of-seven series, Ainge made it clear that they have no intention of trading any member of their core group for players who could address the issues on their roster but on an expiring contract.

“I don’t think I’m looking at any short-term urgency to trade away all my young assets to get some veteran player,” Ainge said. “But we’re looking.”

Since the departure of Al Horford in the 2019 NBA free agency, rumors have been circulating that the Celtics are targeting a big man on the trade market. Though they have Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, and Robert Williams on their roster, none of them could fill the hole Horford left on the defensive end of the floor. According to Nick Friar of WEEI Sports Radio Network, some of the players who are currently being linked to the Celtics include Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons, Danilo Gallinari of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards.

Drummond and Gallinari would undeniably be incredible additions to the Celtics. They would give the Celtics All-Star caliber players who could boost their performance on both ends of the floor. However, with Ainge’s recent statements, it remains a big question mark if Drummond and Gallinari would be a realistic trade target for the Celtics before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.

Aside from their need to part ways with the likes of Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart for salary-matching purposes, Drummond and Gallinari could both become unrestricted free agents after the 2019-20 NBA season. Meanwhile, though it would be easier to deal with his $7 million salary, Friar thinks that Bertans isn’t the man that the Celtics are looking for on the trade market. Also, as of now, the Wizards continue to insist that they have no plan of trading Bertans and reportedly want to re-sign him in the 2020 NBA free agency.