Can Celtics hook big fish they seek?

Sam Amico

The Celtics already landed center Al Horford in free agency, and he's a nice player. But Celtics basketball boss Danny Ainge dreams bigger.

That is why Ainge is still apparently looking to pull off a blockbuster deal – the kind that would bring someone such as the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins or the Clippers' Blake Griffin to town.

There's just one problem.

In order to get something great, you have to give away something at least as good. And right now, Ainge and the Celtics have little beyond hot air. Or more specifically, draft picks.

The promise of assets can only get you so far, as one assistant GM reportedly told CSN Northeast.

“You win with players, not picks,” the website reported the assistant GM as saying. “Boston has lots of picks and some good players. But there’s not a great player on that roster.

"And the players you guys keep writing and talking about that they’re interested in, are great players. [Ainge] will tell you, it’s not easy making trades. And when it comes to great players, it’s even harder to acquire them no matter how many picks you offer up.”

One player who has been linked to the Celtics is 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, entering just his second season.

He's the type of talent who could make the men in green even meaner.

But as the executive told CSNNE, good luck obtaining Okafor -- or any other big-name prize worth his weight in basketball gold.

“I have no idea who that big fish is,” CSNNE quoted another executive as saying. “But Danny knows there have to be certain circumstances in play that make guys available who wouldn’t be if you just went by talent.

"That’s how they got Ray Allen. That’s how they got KG (Kevin Garnett). Even Isaiah Thomas a couple years ago was about circumstance more than anything. He’s looking for something like that now."

Amico: Best of the remaining free agents