Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was dissecting the three-team trade that his squad helped facilitate earlier this week when he said something revealing while referencing a Cleveland Cavaliers team that would soon use the generated cap space to sign LeBron James.
"I wish I was in their position," Ainge said.
Who wouldn't? Cleveland was able to lure the world's best basketball player back to town, vaulting the Cavaliers from fringe playoff contender to NBA-title favorite.
Ainge was refreshingly honest in that moment, even if what he acknowledged was obvious. It's so hard for teams to recruit stars, particularly the biggest one in basketball, but everything lined up for the Cavaliers. There are 28 other general managers who would nod right along with Ainge.
The Cavaliers certainly benefited from their location in bringing back James, but Cleveland also had two things working in its favor: An intriguing young core of talent and the necessary cap room to make a big splash.
Which got us thinking: Hey, Danny, with the right moves, maybe you could be in that position.
While everyone is clamoring for fireworks this offseason, we've maintained that Boston might be better off positioning itself for next summer. Sure, the mere idea of another rebuilding season leaves Celtics fans nauseated, but what if it meant having the opportunity to pursue as many as two star players next offseason? Hear me out here.