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The Mass Media

Where Danny Ainge went wrong

Rondo+could+have+used+some+help%2C+but+Ainge+did+not+sign+Jefferson+or+any+other+big+name+free+agents
Rondo could have used some help, but Ainge did not sign Jefferson or any other big name free agents

The NBA trade deadline has now passed and the Boston Celtics have decided to venture into spring with the current roster. With Rajon Rondo making his way back into more minutes, that idea of an 8th playoff seed looks more obtainable. However, we know it’s not. The mistake that Danny Ainge made wasn’t at the trade deadline; it was during this past offseason.
With the large contracts owed to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett off of the Celtics’ payroll, the Celtics have been given the rare opportunity to become young and spend salary on quality free agents. The one free agent that Ainge should have opened the books for was Al Jefferson. Jefferson was a beloved member of the Celtics when he was here for a brief stay, and many fans were heartbroken to hear that he got traded — never mind what the Celtics got in return, it’s just that he got traded.
This past summer, Jefferson signed with Charlotte for three years and $41 million, which tells us that there was nothing else out there for him to consider.
Here is what should have happened; a sit down with Al along with a story board of the franchise’s direction and how to reclaim a position among the top contenders in the east.
First, the Celtics would have paired Jefferson with Jeff Green, a pure scorer. Green is under contract for another two years, and he has an option for one more. Ainge should have had Green pitch this idea to Jefferson as well, the idea of making a new chapter together in history of Boston sports.
Another point that Ainge could have made is that Jefferson could have played with one of the best point guards in the league, Rajon Rondo, who is under contract for two more years (at the point of this discussion.)
Now this is where Ainge would have gotten creative: besides Jeff Green the Celtics don’t have much to score with, please don’t worry. Ainge would have set out for Kyle Korver. Who? Pretty much the scariest white guy in the league with a jump shot, also the Celtics could have made a play at trading for J.J. Reddick.
Another offseason move that would have benefited the Celtics was the Dwight Howard deal. Since that signing, Omer Asik has been begging to get out of Houston, so why not make a deal with one of those first round draft picks that the Celtics received in the Pierce/ Garnett deal and Brandon Bass trade to bring him in?
If Ainge went through with a plan like that, than the 2013-14 Boston Celtics could have looked like this: Rondo, Wallace, Green, Asik, and Jefferson as the starters. The reserves would have included: Korver, Sullinger, Humphries, Bayless, Bradley, Olynyk, and Johnson (none of the hypothetical signings and trades would have effected any of the current reserves.)
Also, to go along with this team, the Celtics would have had two first round picks in this year’s very deep draft, and then potentially two first round picks in the 2015 draft, and the 2018 draft ( implying that the 2016 first round pick would have been sent to Houston.) This squad would have given Danny Ainge a team that is young, but with experience, and it would have kept his draft picks, and money in the bank, for the future. The most important part of that team would have been their potential to play against the Miami Heat. That squad would have been able to neutralize Lebron James and company in the paint. 
Getting Al Jefferson this past summer was the key to any type of success for the near future for this franchise. He is an outstanding player and great bargaining chip to either keep your good players or to attract quality free agents. Why this couldn’t happen we will never know, but the bright side is that Al Jefferson only signed a three year deal down in Charlotte.