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Danny Ainge is using Lakers as his Celtics model for a "clear hierarchy"?

In a recent interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Danny Ainge may have given us a glimpse of his vision of a Championship-caliber Celtics team. In his response to Rachel's inquiry about lessons learned from last season, Danny suggested that in the future he would be more careful building a team with such EQUAL depth - and he did emphasize the word "equal".

Ainge: "I think I'd be a little more careful going into building another team that had such EQUAL depth. The Lakers have really good depth."


Ainge then cited Lebron James and Anthony Davis as the two clear cut stars of the Lakers and then went on to stress the importance of a "clear hierarchy".

Ainge: "Last year, we had eight guys - nine guys - that all thought they were equal to each other. It makes it easier to accept roles when there is a clear hierarchy."

Danny's quotes are important in reference to possible trades or alternate moves prior to the trade deadline on February 9, 2020. It was clear last season that Brad Stevens was force-feeding a recovering Gordon Hayward back into his system, and the Celtics youngsters most likely weren't thrilled with that. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum felt they were Hayward's equal (there's that term again), and with Gordon not at 100%, they probably were right.

Well, the equality dilemma didn't get any better this season. Hayward, in his eight games prior to his hand injury, was notching 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, while hitting 56% on field goals, 43% on 3-pointers and 84% on free throws. The Jays and Marcus Smart are having career years. Where's the hierarchy? Who's the Alpha? The talent-gap between players has diminished, and Danny is once again facing what he calls ""such equal depth".

Ainge clearly pointed to the Lakers as having no-nonsense leadership. No other Lakers player can legitimately challenge Lebron or AD on a talent level or on a question of leadership. Is that what Ainge is seeking for his Celtics? Does he have a problem with too much equality? This will start to play out soon when Gordon returns to the lineup. If the equality issue persists, look for Ainge to make a move. If things run smoothly, as they did when Boston had its full roster early on in the season, we won't see any major moves. Expect Hayward back fairly soon.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @CausewayStreet and Facebook


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