Ainge all ears, but still '50-50' on possible trade

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Ainge all ears, but still '50-50' on possible trade

With the NBA Trade Deadline upon us, rumors that have been swirling for weeks (months!) will culminate at around 3:00 p.m.

The Celtics have been involved in a number of them, and for good reason. They're a team that doesn't appear to have a serious run left in them -- although they've played better of late. On top of that, they've got some players that could potentially bring back enough talent to make Celtics president Danny Ainge pull the trigger.

But so far, he hasn't seen anything worth trading for. Speaking on WEEI Thursday morning, Ainge admitted that there really isn't much out there, but if teams meet his demands as the day unfolds, there could be action.

"I have no desire to move anybody on our team," Ainge said. "I have to look and so far I have nothing. We don't have anything that we're really excited about right now. If somebody steps up and ups their offer today, who knows what might happen by the trade deadline. But I'm prepared and comfortable with letting the season play out and if somebody wants to throw in first-round draft picks, or give quality young players, that's something we have to consider."

The Celtics aren't necessarily "buyers" or "sellers" it seems, just looking to get better any way they can.

"I have not been close because I don't feel like we need to. I don't want to move the guys, but I have to listen," Ainge said. "If something becomes available I'll pull the trigger. But based on some of the offers that we've had, and the interest, it's just not worth it."

So will there be a trade today?

"I think it's 50-50," Ainge said. "It may be a small deal. It may be not as exciting as what people may expect. But we're working hard. We'll work hard the rest of the day until 3 o'clock."

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

FOXBORO  -- To think there’d be no further questions about the Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo dynamic when Brady’s four-game suspension ends would be moronic.

Bill Belichick won’t like them. He’s destined to give them the verbal Heisman. But there are aspects to the story which demand further interrogation.

So there’s those questions. And then there’s baiting for the sake of baiting, which is what happened Friday morning.

A reporter asked Belichick, “You said Tom will start when he’s eligible. Can you think of an occasion when you named a Week 5 starter in July?”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said.

“What happens if Jimmy plays better?”

“Look, I told you what’s gonna happen,” Belichick answered.

Pressing on, the reporter began, “So there’s no, there’s, there’s . . . ”

At that point, with Belichick reacting like he’d come open a month-old-corpse and muttering, “Jesus Christ," the reporter cut himself off.

I’ve been trying to steer clear of the media ombudsman business. But this stuff makes it hard. The first question was obtuse in the extreme. I don’t even know how that gets formulated.
This is not a Brady-Bledsoe scenario.

You have the best quarterback of his generation who – 17 months ago – took down what was supposed to be one of the great defenses in NFL history in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. A guy who got smashed all over the field in Denver at the age of 38 and still almost pulled out a win last January.

When that guy’s cleared to play, you sprint him onto the field regardless of the circumstances.

“If Jimmy plays better . . . ”? Better than what? Better than 11 touchdowns, no picks, 116-for-160 and 1,547 yards, which is what Brady did in the first four games last season? Better than Brady played in Denver while getting his head caved in every other play?

I understand that sometimes you have to ask the dumb question to get something on the record, but this was not that. This seemed like someone who really thought he was onto something. Was going to paint Belichick into an uncomfortable corner and hang him with his own words.

Sorry, counselor.

Now, you and I can sit on the front stoop and wonder what happens if Garoppolo plays ridiculously well then Brady comes back and spends four weeks playing like he’s never been on a field before and is clearly an impediment to the team’s success.

Won’t happen. But we can talk about it.

Asking Belichick if he’s gonna go with the hot hand when two days prior he told you what he was going to do is asking for a JC response.

Belichick probably figured that stating Brady was the Week 5 starter before he was asked was the best way to defuse idle speculation. “We’ll see . . . ” or “We always do what’s best for the football team . . . ” would have ignited a thousand hours of conversation about the budding quarterback controversy in New England.

Belichick now knows that the speculation and scenario spinning is coming anyway. JC may hear his name muttered a few more times from the podium between now and October.