Danny Ainge did this — again

This was the early Nineteen Eighties and Danny Ainge was at a desk taking part in playing cards with Boston Celtics teammates Kevin McHale and Larry Bird. In the humor of the time, Red Auerbach, then the Celtics’ normal supervisor, made a behavior of needling Ainge about his Mormon religion.

So, on the sight of Ainge being at a card desk and money being exchanged, Auerbach stated to Ainge: “You cannot be taking part in playing cards with these guys. Isn’t that in opposition to the code of your religion?”

To which Ainge seemed up instantly and replied: “Red, taking part in playing cards with these two guys is not playing.”

Dan Shaughnessy, former Celtics beat author and long-serving Boston Globe sports activities columnist, supplied this anecdote and likewise the punchline: “And 25 years later, Ainge proved his benefit, taking away Kevin Garnett from McHale, and instantly profitable the NBA title.’ ‘

The commerce occurred on July 31, 2007, and to have fun almost the exact 15th anniversary (July 29, 2022), Ainge confirmed no deterrent in his religious upbringing to forestall robbing the Timberwolves each going and coming.

Ainge despatched Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two future No. 1s to the Timberwolves for Garnett.

The No. 1s turned out to be Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington, with the choice to draft Flynn over Steph Curry in 2009 falling on David Kahn, McHale’s substitute with the Wolves.

Ainge left the Celtics after the 2020-21 season after which joined his home-state Utah Jazz in mid-December 2021.

Which was unlucky for Minnesota’s NBA franchise, as a result of it is apparently a tough habit to interrupt — rebuilding a franchise by whispering candy nothings to a Timberwolves govt.

This time, Ainge was the basketball boss for the crew receiving the ransom, not the recipient of the star participant. He additionally was coping with the Wolves’ sixth chief basketball officer since negotiating the primary heist with McHale.

Tim Connelly, lured right here by way of the pleadings of owner-to-be Marc Lore and $8 million yearly, was on the Wolves job for seven weeks when he acquired Rudy Gobert, a 7-foot-1 middle, 30 years previous, and identified for protection and rebounding, from Utah.

The foursome of gamers already within the NBA despatched to the Jazz weren’t the difficulty. Out of Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leonardo Bolmaro and Jarred Vanderbilt solely Vanderbilt can be beneficial to nonetheless have round.

Heist no. 2 was validated on Monday afternoon, when a Target Center crowd was in a position to see what 7-footer Walker Kessler needed to supply midway by way of his rookie season.

Kessler was Connelly’s first draft selection, No. 22 general, and likewise was included within the commerce — a “undertaking,” was the hypothesis.

As it seems, Kessler is far more superior than anybody imagined — significantly anybody with the Wolves. He’s just about what Minnesota hoped it was getting in Gobert, and making seven (7) p.c as a lot cash.

On Monday, Kessler performed 31 minutes; he was 9-for-13 from the sector and had 20 factors, 21 rebounds (9 offensive), 4 assists and two blocks.

A primary cause Kessler did not have extra blocks in Utah’s 126-125 comeback win was the Wolves stopped difficult him.

Late within the sport, even Anthony Edwards veered off on what he supposed to be a trademark drive — the left-handed end — when he noticed the menace of Kessler close to the basket.

Gobert had missed six of the Wolves’ 45 video games coming into Monday, and he left after 5 minutes due to a sore groin, which presumably assisted Kessler’s dominance.

irrespective of I’m sticking with this piping scorching take: Everything being equal aside from age, Ainge would not take Gobert even for Kessler.

And there’s just a little greater than one-for-one for the Jazz:

They get the Timberwolves’ first-rounders in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 (that one’s top-five protected). They even have the precise to swap picks in 2026, by when the Wolves ought to have a robust mathematical likelihood within the lottery.

Charles Barkley was within the TNT studio Monday and apparently watched sufficient Kessler moments to supply this opinion: “The Timberwolves made the worst commerce in NBA historical past … That was so silly, that commerce.”

This might be a slight exaggeration, contemplating it might be solely the second stupidest commerce the Wolves have made with Ainge.

And I hope Mr. Ainge can sleep at night time, realizing as he does that the Book of Mormon could be very clear on thievery, stating:

“He that stealeth and won’t repent shall be forged out.”

How might Ainge probably declare repentance when he did it to us again?

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