Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON - Danny Ainge has already gone on record in saying that he doesn't think this currently-constructed Celtics team is built for a championship.

[Insert sad trombone sound here.]

But really, you'd have to be walking around with green goggles on if you thought this team had a legitimate shot at the title.

Shot at the playoffs? Of course. Shot at winning a round? Sure. But no, not the NBA Finals.

The Celtics are a better team this season than they were last season - that much we know. By adding David Lee and Amir Johnson, and having a full season of Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the team has more talent. Plus Marcus Smart has a year under his belt.

They aren't a basement dweller by any means - or shouldn't be anyways - and that's partially why Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck thinks the team can lure in a big-name player.

Speaking on The Sports Hub's Felger and Mazz show Wednesday evening, Grousbeck touched on that and more.

"I personally think free agents will come to a place that is on the cusp," Grousbeck said. "And if you're down on the bottom you're never going to get a free agent."

Grousbeck also says the Celtics are set up for the future in multiple ways. They don't have to "tank" in order to get a top draft pick this year. They hope the Nets will take care of that for them.

"The way we are set up right now, it's all three," Grousbeck said when discussing ways the team can improve. "We have the draft - we have more picks than anybody's ever had in history. We've got cap space - we've got cap space for two [max] guys next year if we can get them to come. And trade - we've got Trader Danny. We're not saying no to any option."

Grousbeck presented a "Trader Danny" scenario that could give the Celtics a shot at a superstar later.

"Let's say we win 50 [games] this year and get to the Conference Finals," Grousbeck said. "We make some trade in February and get to the Conference Finals. We might, we might not. Got two max spots and Brad Stevens, one of the best coaches in the game."

It's rare for big-name free agents to change teams. It happens once in a blue moon. But the C's did get Kevin Garnett to agree to a trade to Boston. So that's something, anyways.

"Free agency is the last choice and it's when you haven't made a trade that locks up your cap, or you haven't developed guys enough who then are max guys to re-sign them," Grousbeck said. "We're not saving for free agents. It's not like we're saying no to expensive people. We brought in [David] Lee and [Amir] Johnson but on one year. We're going to take a look at those guys. Two good players. We have the option to probably re-sign them next summer. We can extend some of the guys on the roster or we can make a trade in February and take on a bunch of money. So all those things. At the end of it all if there's free agency dollars left then you can go the free agency route."

Grousbeck can't name specific players they're interested in due to tampering, but did say they have people in mind - whether they're free agents after this season or not.

"Mostly we're looking right now at trades for December and February and then we'll worry about free agency after that," he said. "If you don't dare to do something you're never going to get it anyway."