Danny Ainge was asked if he could have made a trade for a key player who could have convinced Kevin Durant to sign with the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics held discussions with the Chicago Bulls on a Jimmy Butler trade.
“You know, I thought about that before and I’ve thought about that after, and I really don’t think so — shy of a couple of moves that I couldn’t do,” Ainge said. “But in deals that we could have done that we refused to do, I don’t think that would have mattered for this. I think that KD really likes our players.”
Boston has an attractive roster but couldn't compete with the Golden State Warriors.
“Under any circumstances,” he said, “we weren’t going to be able to produce Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.”
Ainge was hopeful of Al Horford helping Boston's chances.
“I got the impression that they knew something before we did,” said Ainge. “I know that they had some conversation. They were very familiar with what Horford was choosing between. It seemed to me in the presentation like Al and KD had been discussing their plans together.”
Ainge likes the direction of the Celtics despite missing out on Durant.
“I feel like we’re in good position,” he said. “I feel like we still have all of our pieces. We’re excited about Jaylen (Brown, the C’s top draft pick). We’re excited about what’s going on for us in free agency (Horford). And we’re continuing to develop guys that I think aren’t even in their prime of their career yet that are continuing to get better.
“And we still have a lot of opportunities. You know, we didn’t probably have as many transactions as we wanted. We had offers for the third pick in the draft and some of our young players in this process, and we just didn’t want to do it. We just thought it was too much. We like those things too much, so we’re going to move forward, and we’re excited about the direction that we’re headed.”