Danny Ainge Addresses Trade Rumors, Celtics Guard’s Future

Getty Images Bruce Brown of the Nets shoots against Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker of the Celtics

Following a busy NBA trade deadline, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge cleared the air and denied a rumor about one of Brad Stevens’ most important players.

On 98.5 The Sports Hub, Ainge was asked if Celtics guard Marcus Smart’s name was involved in trade talks leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline.

“Those were all just made-up stuff,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich. “I did read one headline that said something about the Celtics are going to trade a few first-round picks and Marcus Smart for this specific guy. I don’t even know where that comes from.”

Danny Ainge On Marcus Smart Rumors: ‘I Don’t Want To Trade Marcus’

When asked about a specific report suggesting Ainge advised Smart that the Celtics would never trade him, Danny said that, too, wasn’t accurate.

“I’m not sure I’ve assured anybody that I would never trade them,” Ainge said. “But I probably disputed any of the trades that were being talked about. I don’t want to trade Marcus.”

Instead, Ainge swapped Jeff Teague and two future second-round picks with the Orlando Magic for shooter Evan Fournier. He also added Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet while sending Daniel Theis and Javonte Green to the Chicago Bulls.

Are The Boston Celtics Now Championship Contenders?

They’re two moves that Ainge is confident will make the Celtics better but when asked if the upgrade can transform into a championship contender, Danny was uncertain.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Ainge replied. “I always say ‘I don’t,’ unless I know, for sure, rarely do I weigh-in on expectations of teams. I think we’ve gotten better — that’s all and that was my main objective. There were other deals that we tried to do that would have even been more significant — that we weren’t able to do.

“I like the acquisition and I’m excited about him and what he can do for our team.”

Ainge: ‘Our Young Players Are Ready To Play’

Either way, Ainge is looking forward to seeing youngsters like center Robert Williams and rookie point guard Payton Pritchard take full advantage of an increased role.

“I think that our younger players are ready to play and have proven that they can play,” Ainge said. “So, we have confidence in our younger players but there weren’t move (made) just, specifically, for that. It’s an exceptional opportunity for Robert (Williams) that he’s getting better and better. We’re excited about his progress. Payton (Pritchard) is getting a chance to play, regardless.

“So, I think that right now, we don’t really know a lot about Aaron (Nesmith) and Romeo (Langford) but our two young guys that have played really well for us — Grant (Williams) has played well, recently and played well in last year’s playoffs. The moves aren’t specifically for that, with the exception of the Robert one.”

Mo Wagner’s Celtics Debut

Moritz Wagner finished with three points and five rebounds in 10 minutes in his Celtics debut while Boston cruised to a 122-114 win against the Milwaukee Bucks, Friday night. Then, on the second night of a back-to-back, Boston captured another victory in Oklahoma City.

In another comfortable win, the Celtics topped the Thunder, 111-94.

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