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Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says it is unlikely the franchise will make a blockbuster deal this offseason.
The Celtics are among the teams who have been talking to the San Antonio Spurs about star Kawhi Leonard. Many believe Boston has the best assets to send to the Spurs in exchange for Leonard, but it’s a risky move considering Leonard has made it known he wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers and is a free agent in 2019.
Ainge said Friday that it’s simply his job to explore all possibilities involving elite-level talent.
“If I feel like it’ll help our team, we explore every trade of players of certain magnitude or superstar, first-ballot Hall of Fame-type of players,” Ainge said Friday. “We’re going to take a look and kick the tires and see if there’s something there. But that’s all. I think those things are unlikely.”
The Celtics are reportedly not interested in trading Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum.
With both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward expected to be healthy next season, the Celtics are primed to contend for a championship. Without Irving and Hayward during this year’s postseason, Boston took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, so one would surmise they will be even more lethal with their two stars back.
“Yes,” Ainge said when asked if Boston is a title contender with this roster. “I felt like we were a title contender last year in training camp. I didn’t think we were the favorites, but I felt like we were a contender.”