The Boston Celtics have a lot of assets – thanks, Brooklyn – but have been relatively quiet thus far this offseason. Yes, they added Al Horford, who averaged 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in Atlanta last season, but he is not the difference between fifth seed in the East and NBA champion.
So, why have the Celtics not acquired more star players given the number of assets they have? Is it an unwillingness to give up picks or an inability to strike the right deal?
“Well, I think it’s the inability to strike the right deal,” former Celtic and current Celtics analyst Cedric Maxwell said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I don’t think you make a deal for deal’s sake because you don’t know what those assets might be. If you’re Brooklyn right now and you’re the Celtics and you have their pick for the next couple of years and you say ‘Brooklyn could be really, really bad,’ you’re looking at the possibility of two No. 1 picks by being patient. If you do the wrong thing and go out and make this deal quickly and try to in the short term look good or try to appease your fans, you might hurt yourself in the long run. I think the patient posture of Danny Ainge and the Celtics right now – and the steady pace, like the tortoise and the hare – is the best one right now.”
Hopefully that plays well with Horford, who turned 30 last month. The four-time All-Star is a more-than-respectable player who will almost assuredly give the Celtics a boost next year and in the years to come. Yet, Cleveland remains the big dog in the East.
Will Horford be happy in Boston even though the window to contend for championships is probably still three years away?
“Well, I think he looked at Atlanta and (saw) which way they’re going,” Maxwell said. “It looks like Atlanta is going downhill. So why not go to a team of young players with assets and you don’t know what could possibly happen? We don’t know what happens next year if the draft is a tremendous draft and you have one of those studs coming out of Duke and you’ve got a chance to pick him at No. 1. So there’s a bunch of things right now that can happen. If you’re an older player coming to a team, yeah, you think about winning championships, but a championship isn’t for everybody in the NBA. Great players have not won. Charles Barkley is on TV all the time. Never won the championship. Chris Webber didn’t win one. A lot of guys haven’t won it and it won’t happen. But put yourself in the best position to try to win one.”