Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said Sunday that the team had hoped to make a big-bang move this offseason, but remained content with the direction of the franchise despite quieter activity.
Grousbeck, who coined the buzzword "fireworks" earlier this year while citing a desire for rebuilding Boston to revert to contender status with impact moves, suggested the team explored potential deals, but couldn't find a willing trade partner.
“We had definitely hoped to try to make bigger moves this offseason, to be honest," Grousbeck told WEEI.com on Sunday from Fenway Park. "Having said that, it takes two partners to make a trade, so we focused on longterm, trying to build the club."
After Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love himself visited Fenway Park in early June -- crossing paths with Celtics captain Rajon Rondo while here -- some wondered if Boston could facilitate a trade to land the 25-year-old All-Star. The two teams reportedly engaged in trade conversations, though little came of it, with Minnesota seemingly more intrigued by other potential offers. Love, who has expressed a desire to become a free agent next summer, remains on Minnesota's roster.
Instead, Boston made a series of quieter moves this offseason. The Celtics drafted Marcus Smart and James Young in the first round of June's draft; re-signed guard Avery Bradley to a four-year, $32 million contract; and utilized a hefty trade exception to facilitate a three-way deal with the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers that brought back guard Marcus Thornton, center Tyler Zeller, and Cleveland's 2016 first-round pick.
"We think we’re a better team now -- positioned for the future -- [with] some new young talent and even more draft picks," said Grousbeck. "But it’s been a patient summer so far, and I'm not always the most patient guy."
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has preached patience ever since Grousbeck first expressed that desire for fireworks near the end of a 2013-14 season in which Boston and first-year coach Brad Stevens won just 27 games.
Back in March, Ainge said, "Listen, we all wanna do some things this summer. We have some objectives. We’d like to be a relevant team next year. But you can’t force it. So, no, I don’t feel [a] pressure [to create fireworks]. I try to avoid that kind of pressure, just to do something. We want to do something good and right. Patience is crucial as we’re in this process right now."
Ainge reiterated that stances often, including on the final day of the regular season in mid-April.
"I have some ideas and some plans that I’d like to do, but there’s just no guarantee that we can do it," said Ainge. "We need to find good training partners. We are always trying to make fireworks; every summer we try to do something that’s unique and special and we will definitely try this summer."
The Celtics remained positioned for potential fireworks next summer when the team might have more available cap space to seek free agents, all while maintaing its surplus of draft picks that could help facilitate trades to add impact players.