Danny Ainge Does It Again

The Brooklyn Nets should not be allowed to trade with the Boston Celtics.  I’m not saying that that’s a fair, just move that fits in with anything that professional sports has to do with, but if the league really wants to be about “competitive balance,” they gotta make sure that Danny Ainge can’t screw over the Nets any longer.

Also, I’m not saying that the Nets got screwed in the deal, although I didn’t really like their return.  I’m just saying that Danny Ainge seems to get a huge reward in terms of first round picks whenever the Nets are involved.

Today, in a 3 team trade with the Nets and Cavs, the Celtics acquired Marcus Thornton, Tyler Zeller, and a 2016 Cavaliers first round pick (Top 10 protected from 2016-18, unprotected in 2019) for a second round pick.  Yeah, that’s right.

The Celtics essentially bought the first round pick — as well as Zeller, who has struggled somewhat but is cheap and only entering his 3rd year —  by agreeing to take on Marcus Thornton’s contract.  Now, you’re probably thinking that Thornton’s contract is long term and therefore pretty bad, which is the only reason the C’s were able to do the deal.  That’s what I thought, because I didn’t know his contract off the top of my head.

Nope.  He has 1 year left at $8.7 million.  He has shown some flashes, but isn’t the kind of guy that’s worth $8.7 million.  But who cares?  It’s for 1 more year, meaning he’s an expiring deal if the Celtics decide to flip some of these assets for a star.  If they don’t, well then his contract is done before next summer’s free agency, so again, who cares?

Well done, Danny.  As Boston.com’s Celtics Blog breaks down beautifully, the Celtics will likely have 2 first rounders and 2 second rounders in 2016, 3 firsts and 2 seconds in 2016, 1 first in 2017 that can be swapped with the Nets if they suck (they likely will), and 2 firsts in 2018.  That’s insane, and it’s some insane asset management.

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