“I had hoped we’d be doing some things now, but one thing that Red (Auerbach) always told me was that sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. But it’s difficult to be patient. Initially we were just trying to acquire as much talent as we could, and even though we traded Antoine (Walker), I don’t think that took away from the thought that we were trying to add talent and young athletes. We’ve kind of stuck to that plan, and now I think we do have young talent that’s developing. At this point we’re grateful that we’ve not done some deals, and even as tough as this year was, there are some very bright spots for our future. I think we’ll be rewarded for being patient.”
Reports were that Danny was including Al in trade talks for Iverson. Al has proved this season that he is certainly one of the top young big men in this league and he can only get better. I agree with Danny that we will be rewarded for being patient and not trading our young core players before we knew which ones are capable of taking it to the next level.
When asked if he regrets any of his moves, he had this to say:
A: “I do. There’s some things that we have done that I would like to take back. But I don’t really feel like there’s anything we’ve done that has set us back or that’s going to prevent us from accomplishing our goal.”
He wouldn't specify which moves he would like to undo, but I would hazard a guess that maybe the Ratliff/Telfair trade might be one of them. Or maybe it was bringing Walker back for his second stint with the Celtics. Or maybe letting Payton get away. I can't see him wanting to have Blount back but maybe he is second guessing the Ricky or Wally part of it. It is hard to tell, but the important part of his statement is that whatever move he would like to take back, he doesn't feel that it will prevent us from accomplishing our goal.
My favorite quote in the interview is this one:
“Some people may disagree, and I feel like the statement I’m about to make opens up a whole can of worms for discussion, but I believe without question that this group that we have right now is a playoff basketball team . . . with no changes. But that’s not our only objective. Just being a playoff team is not all we’re looking for. In order to be better than that, there’s two things that have to happen: We need to speed up the process with our young players so they can give us what we need, or we need to make trades for more experienced players.”
I also believe without question that this grop is a playoff team, with no changes, other than to have everyone healthy. I also like the fact that he is thinking of speeding up the process with the young players instead of a wholesale trade mentaltity to bring in veterans. As we have seen too many times in the past, we have traded young talent to bring in veterans and then have seen the young players we traded become All Stars while the veterans we brought in were no longer in the league. I believe that every one of our young players have a great work ethic and every one of them will work hard in the off season to speed up their development.
As for his thoughts on the draft, this quote is interesting:
"I believe that it is a deep draft and I believe there are some potential All-Stars -- and some are even more prepared to play than the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the draft.”
If this is the truth and not just "Danny Speak", Danny has someone else in mind beyond the big two. Danny's trades and free agent signings may not have been the best in the world, but his drafting is second to none. I have faith that wherever we draft, Danny will get us the piece that will put us on the next level. He is a good judge of young talent.
Finally, there is this:
"I think Doc has done a good job. I watch Doc in practice. I watch the players respond to him. I watch what he does and what he’s teaching them. When I watch the games, it’s my job to determine whether it’s the player that’s causing the execution issues or is it the coach. And right now I’m at the stage where I think almost all the mistakes that are being made on the court are more related to the players than they are to the coach.”
I have been really down on Doc this season. I have mixed emotions on bringing him back but am leaning toward giving him a chance next season but wait on the extension until he proves that he can coach. I haven't watched the team in practice so can't say whether Danny is right or wrong. But Doc's rotations and in game decisions haven't been very good and that has nothing to do with the players. Maybe Danny is just waiting for a particular coach to become available (Carlisle, maybe?) to replace Doc and until then he has to be positive and keep him in place. Whether or not Doc gets an extension and if he does, how long, will tell us alot about Danny's real feelings about Doc.
It is a good interview and you should read it if you get a chance.