Bill Simmons' latest podcast features Ringer contributor and Boston sports media legend Jackie MacMullan. In a shocking twist that no one could have possibly seen coming the conversation turned to the Boston Celtics. With Gordon Hayward selfishly opting out of his Celtics' contract and signing for a ton of money in Charlotte, Simmons seemed to come to the realization that maybe Danny Ainge is actually starting to hurt the Celtics' reputation with players around the league.
I don't think Simmons has much of a lightbulb moment here. I just think it's a very solid theory. No matter how good a move the Kyrie Irving deal was for Boston, it was kind of messed up the way they used Isaiah Thomas and discarded him like an empty pack of smokes at the blackjack table at 4am in Vegas when they call in a new dealer because you and your buddies are on a heater.
Hayward owed nothing to the Celtics and if he wants his new team to be any good, there is absolutely zero reason he should have helped the Celtics get any assets in return for him. They play in the same division! The only reason Hayward would have wanted a sign-and-trade was if the Hornets were going to offer him less money otherwise.
Danny Ainge remains a pretty good general manager. Yes, it's a joke that we constantly hear about all the great moves that the Celtics could have pulled off. And yes, they're "in the mix" for every free agent, but until Jayson Tatum, who just signed a huge five-year extension, forces his way out what can you even complain about?
The Celtics are going to be good again and make the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons. They've been to the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the last four seasons and their core can still be considered young and they do have Tatum and Jaylen Brown. So what if they miss out on Giannis like 29 other teams? I mean, just think of all the assets you could get back for Jayson Tatum. Because Danny Ainge does.