Celtics fans have grown more and more frustrated as the team continues to disappoint. The only light at the end of the tunnel (besides the return of Marcus Smart) is the hope that Boston can bring in some reinforcements using the ever-present trade exception acquired last offseason when the Celtics sent Gordon Hayward to Charlotte in a sign-and-trade. Unfortunately for fans hoping to see that exception used this season to bring some much needed help to the Celtics lackluster bench, it doesn’t appear that’s the preference of Boston’s front office.
Danny Ainge and Wyc Grousbeck both made radio appearances last week addressing the topic of the trade exception in relation to the upcoming deadline. Both sounded less than keen on the idea of using it in-season.
“Maybe we can use part of it within the hard cap at the trade deadline and if it’s available to us and we want to do it, we’ll do it if the right deal is there. Otherwise, it’s something we will look more to the offseason for.”Celtics Governor Wyc Grousbeck on Felger & Mazz
Ainge then followed it up by making the following comment on Toucher & Rich the next day:
“The most likely scenario of a deal that we would want would come along is in the offseason as opposed to the here and now.”Celtics President Danny Ainge on Toucher & Rich
Boston has been linked to players such as Harrison Barnes and Aaron Gordon, but it is unlikely either is a realistic trade target without the use of the TPE. The Celtics currently rank 26th in the NBA in bench points per game.
The NBA trade deadline is scheduled for March 25th. Danny Ainge hasn’t made a significant in-season trade since dealing for Isaiah Thomas in 2015. Since then, his only deal during the season was shipping out Jabari Bird and cash considerations for a top-55 protected 2nd round pick that never conveyed.
Photo: (Charles Krupa – AP Photo)
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