Recently we looked at Danny Ainge's five worst moves as General Manger for the Boston Celtics.
Now it's time to examine his successes, of which there are many.
Danny Ainge is one of four GMs in the NBA who have built an NBA Championship team. During Ainge's time in Boston, the Celtics have made the playoffs five out of seven season and there are only two GMs who have won more division titles than Ainge.
Many of Ainge's best moves have been through the draft, whether it was via trade or simply making the right pick. Since this list will be limited to five examples, here are a few moves that have earned honorable mention:
- February 13, 2004: Danny Ainge waived forward Vin Baker from the roster. Baker clearly had his own personal issues and I'm certainly not going to attack him for that. However, no other team in the NBA was willing to take such a large risk on Baker let alone award him a large contract. At the time of his release, he had 2.5 years and $35 million left on his contract. Ainge was essentially forced to close the chapter on this tragedy.
- July 17, 2006: Rumors were flying around that Pierce was no longer interested in being a member of the rebuilding process in Boston. There was some thought that Pierce would ask for a trade or simply look for another team in the NBA. Ainge was able to convince Pierce to stay in Boston and assured him that things were going to turn around soon, which led to Pierce signing a three-year, $59 million deal.
- August 30, 2007: Tom Thibodeau was signed as an assistant coach. Nothing more needs to be said.