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Friday, March 16, 2012
MacMullan: Ainge had no choice


So, Danny Ainge sat on his hands yesterday. What does the Celtics’ inaction at the trade deadline mean? Is it a sign of failure or is it a positive step in getting this year’s team to unite for the stretch run?

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan told ESPN Boston Radio she believes that if Ainge had a deal yesterday that seemed pragmatic and offered reasonable value, he would have made it.

“I hear people say the Celtics were big losers. I don’t think they were big losers; I certainly wouldn’t call them big winners. I think they were just sort of neutral," she said. "And I think that’s not for a lack of trying. But I think it would have been unwise to unload the Big Three -- any of them -- for 60 cents on a dollar. I just don’t see the point in that.”

She added that it’s unclear exactly what possible deals Ainge was working on.

“It’s hard to say whether he did well or not when we don’t even know what he turned down or what he tried to get,” she said, adding that she hadn’t heard of many possible transactions that would have been worth pulling the trigger on.

While not giving up on the current season quite yet, MacMullan acknowledged that it will be an intriguing offseason, especially with the contracts of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett coming to an end.

“I really do think Ray [Allen] will move on," she said. "I think he’ll have some great opportunities to do so, I think he’s got some years left in him, and I think he’s a great sniper for a championship team -- could be the Lakers, could be Miami, the Bulls I know would love to have him. So he’s going to have all sorts of options.”

Garnett’s next move will be more intriguing, she said.

“I really thought that he would probably retire. But you know what? He’s feeling great now, he’s feeling better," she said. "And does he want to come back for reduced money, is he willing to come back with a reduced role and reduced money? Because if he is, I think the Celtics would do that. Or does he want to go on to somewhere else and try to win one more championship?”

MacMullan said that, considering the Celtics’ past, she doesn’t expect them to make any huge free-agent signings in the near future.

“That’s not the way they’ve been successful," she said. "The way they’ve done it, and the way Danny specifically did it, was to draft, collect draft picks, collect young players and use them as pieces going forward to trade for veterans. And I’m pretty sure that’s what he has in mind going forward.”

MacMullan also touched on the comparisons between the old Big 3 and the new one, something that she wrote about recently for ESPNBoston.

To hear those thoughts and catch the entire podcast, click HERE.