Celtics GM Danny Ainge: We’re Not at a Championship Level


Danny Ainge



The Boston Celtics find themselves in a turning point in the franchise’s future.

They have a solid, yet aging core built around the likes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. They have a star point guard in Rajon Rondo, but questions about his future remain after he suffered a torn ACL earlier this season. Their great head coach Doc Rivers has not committed to next season yet and many are wondering whether Garnett or Pierce might call it quits this off-season.

So when General Manager Danny Ainge stopped by WEEI 93.7 FM to talk Celtics, he was open and honest about the outlook of the team. Even admitting that as of now, they’re not at a championship level.

“I certainly don’t think we are one player away, we’re more than that. Unless that was a really, really special player. I think we’re more than that away. It would be tough to become a championship-level team where we are with the salary cap and our structure. We invested a lot this year in hopes of that we could maximize Paul [Pierce] and [Kevin Garnett’s] career, and it just didn’t work out.

I think the injury to [Rajon] Rondo and [Jared Sullinger] and [Leandro] Barbosa really hurt us, and took away any chance that we might have had. Even though it was a longshot that we would be a championship team this year, if everything fell our way, we thought we could [compete], but it didn’t work out that way.”

It’ll be interesting to see where the Celtics go from here because when the GM admits the team isn’t at a championship level, it is natural to assume changes need to be made.

I think the key is what Ainge decides to do with Paul Pierce. Pierce is in the last year of a non-guaranteed deal and is an interesting trade asset, particularly for a team who considers themselves one player away from contending.

Not to mention Garnett has made it clear that his future hinges on what the team decides to do with Pierce.