Danny Ainge keeping Celtics on treadmill of mediocrity
After a decade of fruitless swings and misses, risk-taking and basically selling his franchise’s soul for a year-and-a-half of Kyrie Irving, Danny Ainge is playing it safe.
The same guy who wouldn’t take no for an answer from Kevin Garnett, moved assets like a Wall Street power broker. He stepped over to the darkside in his deal for Kyrie. Now he will take the route many NBA bosses choose, which is to simply spend as much money as possible to try and solve his team’s problems.
On Monday, Ainge and the Celtics locked Jaylen Brown in on a four-year extension that begins next season. Brown, considered by many to be the team’s No. 4 option, will earn $103 million guaranteed over that span with $12 million more there for the taking in incentive clauses.
Instead of a legit Big 3 – see Bird-Parish-McHale or KG-Pierce-Allen for past Celtics’ examples – Ainge will ride a potential-laden but flawed four of Kemba Walker, Brown, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum into
Can it work? I mean, Garnett bellowed, “Anything’s possible!” Right?
Watching Al Horford walk and fortifying his big man spot with Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis and Robert Williams, Ainge seems to be taking the Golden State route to the promised land.
Hey, the Warriors have been to five straight finals with guys like Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney on the block.
The Celts pretty much have that
Now, all Ainge needs is Brown, who averages 11.2 points a game for his career, to grow into the next Klay Thompson; Kemba Walker, who has played in one career playoff series, to be the next Steph Curry, Tatum to grow into Kevin Durant’s shoes; and yes, the hobbled Hayward to be healthy and then fill the role played so brilliantly by Draymond Green.
Sounds like a plan rooted in sanity
Seriously, the Celtics are putting an awful lot of faith into Brown, a No. 4 pick four years ago who sat in the corner most of last year while Kyrie fiddled.
The Boston Celtics don’t have anyone close to a first-team All-NBA talent right now, yet they’re paying for it with one of the game’s most bloated payrolls.
Who am I to stop Wyc from writing checks that Danny’s ego needs cashed? Go for it. You’ll sell your tickets, your bud Lights and those overpriced but handsome foam-rubber basketball masks.
Just don’t go trying to tell us this franchise remains championship driven when its destiny is a slew of second-round playoff exits.
Contact Hector Longo at 594-1253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.