Danny Ainge is expected to step down as President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics, sources tell ESPN. Brad Stevens is expected to assume a more prominent front office role with the team. https://t.co/8eR4AHcGv3
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 2, 2021
Ainge decided that it is time to move on from this organization.
He has been part of this franchise for such a long period of time.
Now the Celtics are going to move on from this Ainge era.
Ainge’s time with the team has had lots of success.
From trades, draft picks, and free agent signings; the Celtics have been great under his guidance.
There are so many moves that were great, but let’s narrow it down a bit.
Here are the three best moves made by Ainge.
3. The Ray Allen Trade
Back in 2007, the Celtics were one of the worst teams in the league.
However, they got the fifth pick in the draft.
The Celtics wanted to return to contention, but couldn’t figure out just how to do so.
They wanted to get Kevin Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he did not want to commit to the Celtics.
This is where Ainge made one of the best moves in Celtics history, which led to a 2008 NBA championship.
Celtics fans were confused in the moment as Ray Allen was 32 years old at the time, while the team was not a playoff contender.
This trade was the catalyst for a trade to get Garnett.
Ainge made the Allen move to facilitate multiple moves afterwards that led to their title.
2. Trading Down To Take Jayson Tatum
Back in 2017, the Celtics were able to claim the first overall pick in that year’s draft.
The team was pretty good the year prior, but got this first pick due to a trade with the Brooklyn Nets a few years back.
This was their chance to become real contenders once again.
We believed that the Celtics were going to take Markelle Fultz out of Washington University.
He was the consensus choice for the first pick.
However, Ainge traded down to the third pick, which was held by the Philadelphia 76ers.
This led to them selecting Jayson Tatum, who is now the franchise player for the team today.
Shoutout to Jayson Tatum on a great season !
(4 games with 50+ PTS )
Young superstar 🔥 pic.twitter.com/oX0ZIl6vS0
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) June 2, 2021
Fultz ended up having shoulder problems during his time with the 76ers and is not with the team anymore.
This move by Ainge was very smart and landed them the potentialyl next great Celtics player in their history.
1. The Nets Heist
After years of competing with the big three, the Celtics needed to start fresh.
In order to do just that, they needed to trade Garnett and Paul Pierce.
This was Ainge doing a favor to these two legends as the Celtics were clearly in rebuild mode.
Ainge made a trade with the Nets and received three first-round picks, plus a pick swap.
This trade led to the future of the Celtics today.
Two of the picks ended up being Jaylen Brown and Tatum.
The Nets imploded almost immediately.
Garnett and Pierce were well past their prime and the Nets went nowhere with them.
This trade was symbolic for the Ainge era.