Danny Ainge certainly has shaken things up this offseason.
The Utah Jazz CEO has enacted a full-on rebuild for the franchise, headlined by blockbuster trades of All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, as well trading Royce O’Neale.
Now, the Jazz have 14 first-round picks (six of those are their own) between 2023 and 2029, as Utah went from asset-poor to asset-rich.
In the Gobert and Mitchell trades alone, Utah acquired seven first-round picks and three pick swaps.
The process by which Ainge and the Jazz acquired a laundry list of assets for Gobert and Mitchell, though, has irked some other NBA executives, according to a report from Heavy Sports.
Here’s what a couple of anonymous executives told Heavy Sports about how Ainge’s work this offseason has disrupted the market.
“Those trades aren’t real,” a general manager told Heavy. “I mean, I guess they ARE real because they (expletive) happened, but whoa … It’s going to be interesting to see how fast things get back to normal after this — if they do.”
From another NBA executive: “I’m just dreading all the ridiculous stuff people are going to be asking me for now before we can get down to real business.”
Ainge is known for the work he did in rebuilding the Boston Celtics twice during his nearly two decades as an executive with the team, in a manner similar to how he’s deconstructing the Jazz now.
Another executive suggested Ainge will find it harder to build a successful team in Utah in a similar fashion to what he did with Boston.
“It’s not going to be like it was in Boston for Danny,” the league source told Heavy. “He really hit on some of those picks he got, but, remember, they also got (Al) Horford and (Gordon) Hayward to come there as free agents. I know Hayward didn’t work out like they wanted; that injury was tough. But those guys were top free agents. I think Danny’s going to find it harder to attract big time free agents in Utah.”