Celtics GM Danny Ainge Says Team Could Trade for All-Star During Offseason

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 17, 2014

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, left, speaks alongside new head coach Brad Stevens, right, during a news conference where Stevens was introduced Friday, July 5, 2013, at the NBA basketball team's training facility in Waltham, Mass. Stevens twice led the Butler Bulldogs to the NCAA title game. He replaces Doc Rivers, who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
Josh Reynolds

If a fast-forward option is available in the Boston Celtics' rebuilding plan, general manager Danny Ainge won't hesitate to pull the trigger.

The Celtics (25-57) need to upgrade their talent in a bad way. They're ready to shake every offseason tree in sight as part of that pursuit.

Ainge painted a broad stroke of the franchise's summer plans during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich show Wednesday morning.

With so much work yet to be done to return the Celtics to relevance, there's a chance Boston's reclamation project is nothing more than a few vague ideas at this stage.

One thing the executive made clear is that the Celtics aren't married to a particular avenue to find a game-changing talent. If the trade market looks more promising than the NBA draft, he'll use the former to help track down a notable name:

Ainge, of course, didn't indicate who that trade target might be.

The rumor mill hasn't found its offseason form yet, so it's unclear who even might be available. One option could be a sign-and-trade for a restricted free agentGordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz or Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons, perhapsbut it doesn't sound like Ainge has an identifiable target yet.

Rather, he's just making his presence known to potential trade partners. If there's a name worth sacrificing some assets to get, he's ready to move:

The Celtics don't seem to have much trade fodder on their current roster. Unless they deem Rajon Rondo expendable, there just isn't much in the cupboard to pique outside interest.

That conversation changes, though, if Ainge puts some of his draft picks up for sale. According to RealGM, the Celtics will be collecting draft debts for the next several years and own two first-round selections (theirs and the Brooklyn Nets') this year.

The 2014 rookie crop is as deep as any in recent years, but Ainge has openly questioned its star power.

Charles Rex Arbogast

"There aren't any game changers in the draft," he said during a live stream on Celtics.com (h/t Comcast SportsNet). "There are a lot of nice players and players that we'll be excited to work into the development, but they're not going to come in and turn our team around in one year or two years."

The Celtics don't sound closed to the idea of building through the draft, but they aren't married to the picks either. The sooner they can get back to playing meaningful games, the better, but it's a process.

"We're prepared for the long haul, but we'd love to accelerate it if we could," co-owner Wyc Grousbeck told USA Today's Sam Amick.

Jul 5, 2013; Waltham, MA, USA; Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, left, and owner Wyc Grousbeck, right, listen as new Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens answers a question during a news conference announcing Stevens new position. Mandatory Cr

The power is in Boston's hands. The Celtics don't have to make a move.

A worst-case scenario involves bolstering the roster with more young talent and focusing energy on player development. That's rebuilding by the book.

Should a worthwhile, quicker fix present itself, then Ainge can make his move. With a transcendent talent like Rondo already on board, the Celtics aren't too many correct guesses away from returning to relevance.

Ainge won't force the issue. If win-now help is available, though, he's ready to pounce.