Celtics need ‘transcendent players’: Celtics GM Danny Ainge

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Ainge with Stevens in 2013
New Boston Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens (R) smiles as he is introduced by Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge at the Celtics training center in Waltham, Massachusetts July 5, 2013. Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge stated in a recent interview that they have a deep team but lacks one true superstar needed for the team to be considered a legit NBA title contender.

“I’m excited about the team. I mean, listen, there’s always things you want to do that you don’t get to do,” Ainge, the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations since said via the Boston Globe. “We don’t always get what we want, but I’m excited about each and every guy on this roster. I think you need transcendent players in the NBA and you don’t always get what you want.”

Ainge went on to identify which Eastern Conference teams can be considered title or playoff contenders in their conference; the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving; the Chicago Bulls with Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose; the Miami Heat with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic; and the Washington Wizards with John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Ainge’s Celtics were relatively inactive in the 2015 offseason with no big name free agent acquisition to show for in the summer. Boston acquired veteran forward David Lee and veteran center Amir Johnson via a trade and free agency, respectively but both players are seen as complementary pieces.

Among the players who hit free agency LaMarcus Aldridge, who left the Portland Trail Blazers for West rival San Antonio Spurs; Jimmy Butler, who decided to stay with the Chicago Bulls; and Marc Gasol, who also stayed with his team, the Memphis Grizzlies.

Celtics’ returnees for the upcoming season include Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller, all of whom are pegged to be part of the Celtics ‘ rotation in 2015-2016.

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