Iverson is off the market and Danny admits knowing this for several weeks. But did Danny ever really want Iverson? Looking at how Danny has operated in the past leads me to say that he wasn't. Danny has never, I repeat NEVER, tipped his hand to the press on a trade before. In fact, the opposite is true. Think back to the trade that sent Walker to the Mavs... Right up to that trade, he steadfastly denied that he was going to trade Antoine which prompted the "Danny is a Snake" comment from Walker. Then when Danny brought Walker back, it was the same thing. Right up to the trade, he denied that he wanted Antoine back.
The day that Danny made the trade for Wally, he was on with Glenn Ordway and said that there was nothing even close in a trade and denied that he was looking to bring in Wally, even though he mentioned that he was looking for a scorer. He denied it outright. I remember listening to that and then later that day hearing that the trade went down sending my favorite Celtic to the Wolves and thinking that Danny really was a snake...
But the fact is, Danny has never let out to the public who he was targeting in a trade or even that he was working on a trade. Why suddenly would he very openly talk about going after Iverson and openly in the media talk about trade talks? My opinion is that this whole Iverson trade was a smoke screen. I think he did make an offer... a very low offer ... for Iverson and knew that King wouldn't take him up on it and made it public because he really wasn't interested in Iverson.
As long as the press and the blogs and boards etc were all focusing on the Iverson trade rumors because they were so very juicy to talk about, Danny was free to chase other players that he really wants without all the speculation. We don't need another guard. We don't need another wing player. We really need another big. A rebounding, defensive minded big. I think that is Danny's true target and I think he is stockpiling even more young players to go after one. I don't know if it is Boozer, Gooden, Murphy, or my favorite, Marion, but I think he is pursuing a 4 or a 5 and doing it behind the scenes. When the trade is announced, it will be a total surprise without any fanfare or media attention.
His signings this off season are somewhat puzzling unless you look at them with an eye toward a trade. We have a young team now, without enough minutes to go around to develop all of our young players but yet, Danny signs 4 more Rookies... Rondo, Powe, Ray, and Pittsnogle... 2 of which weren't even drafted These signings only make sense if some of our current young players are being shopped. Rondo is a no brainer as he fills a big need at the point and may be one of the steals of the draft. Powe would fill a spot left if Gomes were traded but duplicates talent if Gomes stays with the team. Ray would fill a spot if Delonte or Allen were to be traded. Pittsnogle would fill the spot of Scal, who fancies himself as a scorer off the bench, but Scal can't shoot whereas Pitts can. I wouldn't be surprised to see a package of these kids along with some picks go out for a veteran big before the season begins.
If none of the trades that Danny is going after come to fruition, I can see Danny also standing pat and waiting for the right deal to come along. I have heard from a reliable source that Larry isn't as steadfast about keeping JO'Neal as he lets on and may trade him as soon as the trading deadline if the team doesn't start off strong. Garnett can opt out of his contract next summer, so if things don't go so well in Minny, he may be a free agent. Next year we will have Ratliff's expiring contract as an asset to deal with. There are plenty of options should Danny decide to go into this season with our young group as it is now, the best one being that many of our kids will step up and become solid all star level players here in Boston which would negate the need for a trade.
But for now, the question remains... "What will Danny do?" I don't think anyone knows at this point... but one thing we do know.. Danny won't reveal his hand until it has already happened.
You make some very good points, but I think you give Ainge too much credit. Think about all of the machinations regarding Ainge and McHale prior to the draft. The joint oworkouts and the last minute cancellation of the one in Boston. Something was going on and something changed. My best guess is that the Iverson deal was close and then fell through, perhaps because McHale wouldn't give up Foye, then plan "B"B went into affect with Minnesota and Portland swapping picks to compliment our deal with Portland. Looking ahead, for something out of left field? Want Ainge to live up to his slithery nick name? Paul Pierce is still the pierce that does not fit and as you did mention; Garnette will be looking for a new team, soon.
Wonderful thoughts in your article, FL. Love reading your stuff.
I think Ainge was trying hard to make that multi team deal happen, not to bring Iverson here, but to get some other players from different teams to come to Boston. I also don't think Iverson was really a player Ainge was targeting all along. There's no way Ainge would have spelled it out for the media the way he did, unless it was just to get the media off his track.
I think a piece Ainge will be looking to add to our roster this season is a big man. I think there's a chance that Ainge does like Nene. But he just signed an extraordinary contract that's more than he should be making, and I wouldn't be comfortable bringing that hefty contract here. But Nene, the player, I would be interested in bringing here.