Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

Billy King is no Danny Ainge (thank God…)

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on August 1, 2007

ainge.jpgI apologize, mr King. Time to give you some props. 

Ok, if you are one of the four usual readers of this blog, you know I am a LONG TIME BIG critic of Billy King. I think he is a bad GM and he’s the main guy to blame for the poor situation Sixers are in.

But we have to give him this: at least he never pulled a Danny Ainge.

This is my comment after the Garnett trade became official. I debated this all day in the Sixers board of philly.com and I want to confirm it here.

In a nutshell my point is: no doubt acquiring Garnett and pairing him with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce makes Boston significantly better. But no way Celtics are title contenders now and not even Eastern Conference Finals bound. At the end of the day if I was Boston’s GM, I wouldn’t have done the trade. Let’s see why.

1) they gave up way too much: “Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, a 2009 first round pick (top three protected) and a return of Minnesota’s conditional first round draft pick previously obtained in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade” + cash considerations. Woah !! “The largest trade for any one player in NBA history” writes ESPN and there is no need to doubt it: it’s seven players for one.

2) Ainge is basically admitting that all he did in the previous years was bullshit (something that the whole world of basketball already knew, but let’s stick to the point….). He piled up tons of draft picks, put together a core of young, talented players  – and I remember many posters of the same Sixers board saying “look at how good he’s doing in rebuilding !!” - then gave them to a bad coach, and at the end traded them all for two veterans after a 24 W season, and after extending the bad coach. 

Now had he kept #5, all their young players, filling the holes at PG and C through the draft or free agency, he would have deserved my respect.  Like this, he’s showing that his only strategy (?) is keeping his ass on the chair with desperate, all star-quick fix moves. Something that Billy King, with all his flaws, never did. And, hopefully, won’t do.

(I have to make this clear: as a true, diehard Sixers fan I HATE the Celtics, just as much as I hate the Lakers. I wish them all the worst in basketball. At the same time, as a hoops fan, I always liked and admired Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. So you won’t hear any “Allen is soft”, “Garnett is overrated”, “made it to the second round only once” etc etc crap from me. They all are great players and I do like them period).

3) Celtics completely fucked up their future to have a chance to… nothing, in my opinion. They can’t go anywhere. In two years Sixers will be ahead of them and stay there for the next three-four. If only Billy King doesn’t pull a Danny Ainge, of course.

So let’s pass to the FAQ section:

Are Celtics a good team now? Yes.

Will the big three gel? Yes. I think they will coexist nicely and the “chemistry issues”, “not enough touches/shots/balls” theories are idiotic.

Will they be (very) fun to watch, and fill the seats at the Banknorth Garden? Yes.

How many wins they can get? 45-47 W to me

How far can they go in the playoffs? A second round appearence, perhaps. 

Are Celtics good enough to make it to the Finals? No.

Are they title contenders? ARE YOU ON SOMETHING? (in caps it’s my answer, not another question)

Where would you rank the Celtics in the East right now? Around #4-#5, behind Cleveland, Chicago, New Jersey (yes, New Jersey, at least Nets have four players, Celtics have three) and fighting for home court advantage in the first round with Toronto, NY, Detroit.

I think many guys are overrating the Celtics big time now and they are forgetting that:

a) they have Rajon Rondo (…) and Kendrick Perkins (…) as starting PG and C respectively. Trivia question for S4G readers: name me the last Conference champs to have such terrible players in those key spots… I have a hard time recalling one. Also funny noticing how the Celtics passed from a roster with 3+1 PG (Telfair, Rondo, Ray + West) to 1 (Rondo).

b) they have no bench. I mean, it’s not they have a short bench, they haven’t one at all !! Brian “Veal” Scalabrine is currently their best man off the bench, and even considering all the guido connections and everything I have to say that is pretty scaring…

c) their coach is still Doc Rivers (’nuff said)

d) their GM is still Danny Ainge 

(Trivia question #2: name the last NBA champ to have Doc Rivers as coach and Danny Ainge as GM)

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13 Responses to “Billy King is no Danny Ainge (thank God…)”

  1. Kent said

    It’s hard to turn down the opportunity to get a player like Kevin Garnett. But the Celtics gave up an awful lot. And even if they are good, there’s basically going to be a 2-3 year window, then they’ll be back in the geriatric basement. By making this deal, Ainge basically admitted to blowing it on his assembled core of youngsters.

    I like the direction Billy King is taking. He’ll have pieces and cap space to make trades or signings of his own next offseason. Should be interesting.

  2. thanks Kent.

    I give the Celtics a 2 yrs window and agree with all the rest.

    I’m not 100% sure that we have a clear “direction” but anyway this year I am going to be patient and just enjoy the show. NO pressure at all for us

  3. Zach said

    Right now, I put the Celtics 4th in the East. I still think Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland are still ahead of them. The only competition in the Atlantic they’ll have is Toronto, I don’t see New Jersey as much of a threat. Philadelphia and New York shouldn’t be able to touch them.

    Although it was a great move for the short term, they gave up way too much. If they could have kept either Jefferson or Green it would have been a much better deal for them, but they were desperate and desperation is a stinky cologne.

    In 3 years when Peirce, Garnett, and Allen are all past 35 years old and there’s no young talent at all and no 2009 first round pick, the Celtics will be hurting badly and will be in the NBA cellar for a very long time. At the same time, I think the Sixers young squad will really be coming together and should be making some waives in the East.

    If Perice, Garnett, and Allen all play together at their full potential I don’t think their lack of a bench should hurt them, at least in the regular season, but I don’t think they’ll make it past the 2nd round in the playoffs either. They will definitely be a fun team to watch though.

  4. great post Zach, we agree on 95%

    only difference I have NJ ahead: Krtsic back at 100%, Magloire will make e good impact and is an underrated addition, chemistry is already there, same for playoffs experience: with no major injuries they will win the division IMO

    while I think Detroit lost a step and Boston on paper looks slightly better

  5. Hey Ricky… very good analysis. I agree with about 90% of your take. I would give the Celts a little more credit, and put them at 47-50 wins.

    You are right on about the chemistry non-issue; the big three will mesh fine. They have complimentary skill sets.

    No one seems to mention much about the lack of defense on the team, particularly Allen, who will have to guard some very good SGs in the East (Vince Carter, Wade, Ben Gordon).

    I agree that the Pistons and Cavs are still better; I would add that the motivated Shaq might also make the Heat better (although I wish they had signed Brevin Knight instead of Smush Parker). They weren’t that bad last year, even though they had Shaq and Wade injured for most of the season.

    And the Nets and Celtics will be very close.

    In two years Sixers will be ahead of them and stay there for the next three-four. If only Billy King doesn’t pull a Danny Ainge, of course.

    Absolutely agree. The Celtics have a very small window of opportunity now… it’s a real window, but it won’t be open past two seasons. And after that they are pretty screwed – no assets to trade (no one is going to want Ray Allen, Pierce or even Garnett in two years, at $20+ million a year).

    The key for the Celtics is to flesh out their roster. The need to sign Brevin Knight, to sign a big man to take some minutes down low, and to get a hustle, fill the lane type of player.

  6. marco.materazzi.23 said

    Then Ric, i have read your post and as usual i liked it… Great post (however your reference of aversion to the Lakers is always present… the 4 pears of 2001 NBA finals make still badly :D ).
    On a lot I am in agreement with you and I emphasize a your passage that I think crucial for the realizations of the trade that they have carried to Boston respective Allen and Garnett: “Like this, he’s showing that his only strategy (?) is keeping his ass on the chair with desperate, all star-quick fix moves.”
    Recently Ainge had based the famous reconstruction Celtic’s on the young players… And of beautiful hopes sure they were pulling some on: from a player who in the last year was improved in enormous way like Al Jefferson and sure it’s in order to become one of the best power forward of the NBA, to a guard like Gerald Green who sure will become something more regarding the show man from circus like preannounced from many badly languages, etc. etc. … But 22 past May is happened the unthinkable one: to the C’s is touched the worse mathematically possible choice, that is the 5^; after a disastrous year as the last one was just what they didn’t want to Boston, because Ainge would have chosen a young player newly that but (at least of first impact) it wasn’t what it makes you to begin one dynasty, like happening in the past even in the 97′ with Duncan, or in the 2003 with LeBron James… This year could go well a first chosen with Oden, or also the second with Durant… But after those two were begun to speak about other young players to make to mature, that it involves other lost time and approval the heated atmosphere created in the Massachusetts this was not obviously more possible.
    You obviously say thanks to Billy King not to have made the same one in your Philadelphia, and from a part you have reason, because however from when it has said goodbye to the past (Iverson and Webber) it has recommenced to reconstruct heading at the young players, and for your fortune some beautiful jewel is coming on enough well in Pennsylvania (that small/great phenomenon of Iguodala in head)… But the two situations are difficultly comparable because however the public squares are various (that one of Boston was literally in order to explode and the first one to jump after an other year from lottery would have been just mr Ainge); sure under this point of view to Philadelphia it is worked with greater serenity, what that had become impossible to Boston.
    Now only the next movements of free agents (Eddie House and Jackie Manuel acquired today, Ryan Gomes returning to Boston? C-Webb? Mutombo? Knight? Hudson?) and above all the field will say to us if Ainge has done good to disintegrate a roster of young people of beautiful hopes in order to acquire two big over the thirty
    (than seen heavy contracts that they are carried behind they risk to stop the market to you from next the 3 years to follow)… Of first impact I am with Ainge because second me it’s a risk that had to be taken (had above all to the situation that had been created with the draft).
    This is a speech of a supporter of the Lakers and therefore even also than part holding account of it wants to return to win that it joins me to people of Boston.

    Sorry for my bad English, but to school my friend of bench distracted to me during the English lessons: It was blond, blue eyes and physically wonderful; you would have made same if you he had been to my place :D

    Salutes from Rome…

    A Lakers fan.

  7. Mike said

    Nice assessment of the Celtics. Plain and simple, Ainge panicked/lost his mind.

    The Celtics tanked their season to get a shot at Oden and Durant and when it did not happen, Ainge lost it. The Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett deals are the machinations of a crazy man.

    This Celtics team is not as good as Lakers with Malone and Payton, which did not win a title. This team has no chance. Like everyone said, these deals make them only 3rd or 4th best in the weaker Eastern Conference!

    I love big trades and Ainge sure gets an A in that category but he gets a D in real value from me.

    Oh, I almost forgot. These guys are being coached by Doc Rivers. Good effing luck with that…

  8. great to see that SML and Mike agree with me basically on everything

    yes, SML, 48-50 W for Boston is more realistic, u r correct

    marco.materazzi, thanks fella. It took a long to translate that text into english, I could/should have done it. I’m waiting for your article about your (sucking, LOL) Lakers :-)

    I had no smoking hot blond as my desk mate (?) at school, but only an ugly, hairy guido named Maurizio… that’s why my english is slightly better than yours !

  9. [...] I should re-think my 48-50 W prediction: Celtics with Posey (and Pollard, LOL) can reach 54. Damn, seems they are signing all the players I [...]

  10. [...] his credit, I liked the Hunter-Evans trade and I thanked him for not being Danny Ainge (LOL).  Damn, the Internet is [...]

  11. Paul Varjak said

    Hey, how’s that trade look now? How does World Champion Boston Celtics sound?

  12. Hehehe. Sixers suck.

    It’s funny how just about every sentence in this article turned out to be exactly the opposite of what the author predicted.

  13. LOL, really… now I really sound like a jerk re-reading it

    anyway I am proud of having written it, and I’d do it again

    BTW Ainge is still a bad GM that had a ton of luck because everything went good for the C’s that year, also the unexpected (Rondo improving so much, Perkins playing well, Powe turning out to be a player etc)

    and the article was written before they got Posey and PJ Brown, two key pieces. But no excuses, I completely missed the predictions, it happens a lot of times….

    Ainge just rolled the dice and he won, but good GMs are something different…

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