The Boston Celtics want a trade. They have wanted a trade for the past few seasons. Team president Danny Ainge would love to get a big-named star in the mix to push them back into contention in the Eastern Conference. The issue is that despite all of the draft picks and roster assets, the Celtics continue to get denied in trades and this year is no different.
According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the Celtics have put in a call to see about the cost of Blake Griffin, but talks are not progressing. Griffin is on thin ice with the Los Angeles Clippers right now following the punching incident and many teams believe the franchise is looking to deal the forward as a result. The Celtics are trying to pursue a deal, but not getting far. Zach Lowe of ESPN reported that the Clippers would trade for the right offer. It is hard to see them getting a better deal then what the Celtics can offer with their stash of first-round picks.
This is not the first big name the Celtics have pursued this year. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News linked the team to Kevin Love which would see them giving up at least one first-round pick along with players like David Lee and Jared Sullinger. Everyone involved with that deal denied it being an option. Marc Stein of ESPN reported that Dwight Howard was an option as the Houston Rockets make him available. The Celtics also eyed Al Horford and Jeff Teague. So far nothing has gone past the stage of reported interest.
Ainge is being honest about where the Celtics are right now. They are a team that can make it to the playoffs, but not win a series. He ranks teams like Cleveland, Miami and Toronto ahead of them which is where the trade deadline would come into play.
"I think that Cleveland is still the best team in the East and I think Toronto's a very good team. And Miami's a good team in the East," Ainge said, via MassLive.com. "I think that we're a team that can beat anybody on any given night. I just think that we're not a team that can win a playoff series against some of the elite teams in the NBA right now. We can't think that we're way better than we really are, and try to do something that's irrational for the future. We have to remain patient and smart and on top of things."
The Celtics have just a few days to get something done. They appear to be aggressive with their pursuits, but the chances anything gets done still feels slim.