Celtics

Danny Ainge admits nothing on buyout market interests Celtics right now, including Isaiah Thomas

Danny Ainge admits nothing on buyout market interests Celtics right now, including Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics didn't make any moves ahead of last week's NBA trade deadline, which means the buyout market is their lone avenue to improve the roster before the NBA playoffs begin in April.

There hasn't been a ton of movement on the buyout market so far, and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday morning that nothing is in the works for Boston at the moment.

"There's nothing on the buyout market that we're interested in doing right now," Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher & Rich" show. "But we're going to continue to evaluate that all the way up until March 1."

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Does that mean no Isaiah Thomas return in Boston?

"Not right now," Ainge said. "We're not doing anything at this moment. I love Isaiah, I'm not sure that he's the right fit for us, but I'm not sure that he's not. We're still evaluating to see who comes available on the open market. We're hoping that maybe somebody that's more of a need and a better fit, but who knows, we'll see."

Thomas began the season with the Washington Wizards, who sent him to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of a three-team trade on a deadline day that also included the New York Knicks. The Clippers waived Thomas, making him an unrestricted free agent.

"I think it's a challenge with Kemba (Walker) and Isaiah, the size at the guard position," Ainge said. "Coming off playing the Houston Rockets, as an example, their guards are huge. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are incredible athletes with power and strength. I think that makes it tough. I don't think that that is a great fit for our team right now. But again, Isaiah has skills, he has talents that we could use -- 3-point shooting and scoring. But we've talked about this, whenever you trying to fill a hole, you're creating another hole most of the time, unless that player is a two-way, big, solid player. We could use some of the things he does on a positive side, and his size and defense are not ideal for our team because we already have a small guard we have to work around in some matchups."

Players must be waived by March 1 to have playoff roster eligibility on their new teams, so there's still a few weeks for Ainge and the Celtics to look for upgrades.

Forsberg's Celtics Report Card: Ranking the best players on C's

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Clippers-Celtics, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

It's a matter of when, not if, Jaylen Brown will be an NBA All-Star

It's a matter of when, not if, Jaylen Brown will be an NBA All-Star

BOSTON -- We should have seen this coming from Jaylen Brown. 

It’s not like he didn’t clue us in to how he was built differently than most players coming into the NBA. 

His first NBA start came against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, a game in which Brown showed absolutely no nerves, anxiety or fear of James as he went on to score a then-career-high 19 points in what was his fifth game as a pro. 

From there, Brown continued to show flashes of being an above-average talent, displaying an innate ability to successfully transition to whatever role he’s cast to play. 

With the NBA season at a standstill now, it provides us an opportunity to take in what Brown has done thus far. 

More significantly, it allows us to take inventory on what Brown’s body of work thus far tells us is on the horizon. 

The 23-year-old Brown is on course to establish himself as an All-Star whose strength lies in his versatility to impact the game at both ends of the floor. 

This season, Brown is averaging 20.3 points per game, joining teammates Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker as part of the only trio of NBA teammates this season with each averaging at least 20 points per game. 

Of that threesome, Brown’s inclusion is the most surprising when you consider it wasn’t a given that he would start, let alone drop 20 points a night, at the start of the season. 

A legit case could be made that Brown should have been an All-Star this season, with some surmising a top-two record by the Celtics prior to the break would have been enough to get him in along with Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum. 

But it’s fitting that Brown’s time to shine will have to wait. 

Because on many levels, that’s been the narrative surrounding his NBA career. 

And while it would have certainly deterred some and disappointed others, it only drove Brown to continue working on his game, proving his naysayers wrong - including those who booed Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck when he announced that Boston had selected Brown with the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. 

“Oh, I remember,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston recently. “I definitely remember.”

But instead of dwelling on what has happened, Brown is more locked into what the future holds for both him and the Celtics. 

“Just keep getting better, keep grinding, keep working on all parts of my game,” he said. “That’s what I’ve done, to get where I’m at. So why stop now?”

Classic Celtics: C's outlast Michael Jordan's Bulls in 1986 playoff thriller

Classic Celtics: C's outlast Michael Jordan's Bulls in 1986 playoff thriller

Want to witness one of the greatest individual performances in NBA history? Just tune into NBC Sports Boston on Sunday night.

Our "Classic Celtics" series -- which featured Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals on Friday night -- continues Sunday with a throwback: Game 2 of Boston's 1986 NBA playoffs first-round series with the Chicago Bulls.

That April 20, 1986, game at TD Garden was a defining moment for then-23-year-old Michael Jordan, who went off for an NBA postseason-record 63 points.

But Celtics fans can appreciate Jordan's masterful performance knowing that Boston outlasted Chicago 135-131 in double overtime and swept the series en route to an eventual NBA title.

The broadcast begins Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, and as an added bonus, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge -- who scored 24 points in this game while defending Jordan -- will join Brian Scalabrine to provide real-time commentary throughout the game.

Other reasons to watch:

- A vintage performance from Celtics star Larry Bird, who scored a team-high 36 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists.

- The 1980s Celtics at their peak: Bird, Ainge, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Bill Walton all scored double figures.

- Jordan hitting two free throws in the final seconds of regulation to force the first overtime.

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