Ainge: Nobody off limits in trades this offseason

Ainge: Nobody off limits in trades this offseason
April 17, 2014, 12:45 pm
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(AP Photo)

There's been much talk - "tank talk" - all season about what pick the Celtics will have in this year's NBA Draft.

It's been said to be a top-heavy draft, with players like Duke's Jabari Parker as well as Kansas' Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, along with others heading the list.

We won't know what pick the C's have until the NBA lottery on May 20. At that point, Celtics GM Danny Ainge can start to place a value on the pick in terms of trading it away, if that's in the team's interest.

He was asked on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich Show if along with a top five pick in this year's draft, would the Celtics be able to put together a package with other picks and players and land an All-Star caliber player.

"Potentially," Ainge said. "That's possible, And we'll certainly look into that possibility. So much depends on where we end up in the draft and who that player may be and what player we might be able to get. It all depends on a lot of things. But yeah, that's certainly a possibility."

If the Celtics are looking to deal, everybody on the team is fair game. Yes, even Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger. Hey, Ainge did trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last year - is anything really a surprise after that? He was asked if anybody on the team was off limits.

"No, we're in a situation where we can't be. And I would say that's the case most years," Ainge said. "I tell all the players, even the great ones - Paul and KG - it's my job to make the Celtics better. And if somebody does something and makes an offer that makes us look a lot better in the long-term and short-term, I have to look at them. But there's players that I anticipate being here and I'm not as actively pursing to trade in trades than others. But yeah, nobody can be completely off limits."

You might think that wouldn't sit well with players, knowing they could be traded at any moment. Especially with Rondo, who has been included in trade rumors for what seems like his entire tenure with the team. But Ainge said that Rondo is fine with it, and the players would rather be told the truth.

"I don't know. I think he handles it well," Ainge said of how Rondo takes it. "I've talked with Rondo - we have a good relationship, we've talked a lot. I think that players genuinely - I know as a player myself I would have appreciated more honesty, I would have been able to deal with life a little bit better - I know that there's a lot of players that have shared with me how much they appreciate the honesty. It's really the only way I know how to operate with them. And maybe because I was a player and coach. We're big boys. They can handle it and they understand the business. They have agents to call. But I feel like it's the best way. I owe Rondo. Rondo has been a great player for us. He has been a four-time All-Star and I owe him to be honest in my opinion."

It's probably hard to be anything but truthful when the owner of your team says there will be "fireworks" this offseason. Whether or not the fireworks do happen, the C's will certainly try lighting a match.

"I'm looking to make something happen," Ainge said of "fireworks". "We will have some opportunities. The thing that I have to guard against and just be honest about is make sure that we do a good deal and just not do deals to blow off fireworks or to make a splash or to win a press conference. I have to try to build a team to win, and win for the long haul. But we're certainly going to try to set off some fireworks, you bet."