NBA trade rumors: Celtics coaches wanted Carmelo Anthony, Danny Ainge said no
As the Celtics attempt to climb out of a 2-0 hole in their first-round playoff series against the Bulls, you can’t help but wonder if they would be better off with a secondary scorer to go with Isaiah Thomas.
Apparently, Boston’s coaching staff wanted to acquire that scorer two months ago.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Celtics coaching staff was in favor of trading for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony before the trade deadline, but Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge wouldn’t pull the trigger. From the Post:
According to an NBA source, the Celtics coaching staff was in favor of trading for Anthony at the trade deadline, but general manager Danny Ainge had too many reservations. One of Ainge’s concerns, according to a source, was an Anthony trade would have given Boston no real cap space to work with for the 2017 free-agent class.
The report also says that the Carmelo talks could heat up again if the Celtics are eliminated in the first round, and that Knicks president Phil Jackson would consider Jae Crowder “a major player of interest” in any potential deal.
Jackson has, and the 32-year-old forward has expressed a willingness to waive his no-trade clause to go to a winning situation. The Celtics, despite their postseason struggles, certainly check that box.
Boston’s offense has struggled in two games against the Bulls, which has led many fans to lament the Celtics’ lack of activity at the February trade deadline. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that Ainge will not make a move simply for the sake of making a move.
He is biding his time, holding onto valuable assets (including what could end up being the top pick in this year’s draft) and waiting for the perfect deal to come along. The question is, if they suffer their third straight first-round playoff exit this season, how much longer can they afford to wait?