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Why Can't The Celtics Land NBA Free Agents?

BOSTON (CBS) -- NBA Free Agency is in full swing, but the Celtics remain on the outside looking in as many of the big names sign elsewhere.

Boston has never really been a destination for NBA free agents, but there was some hope that would change this offseason following the C's run to the playoffs last season. Add in a highly-praised young coach like Brad Stevens, and that should be a recipe to get big names to Boston, right?

Nope. The Celtics did land Amir Johnson on a two-year deal Wednesday, but he's far from the fireworks fans were hoping for this summer. The frustration continued when free agent center Greg Monroe accepted a max deal from the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.

But could Monroe going to a team like Milwaukee actually be a good sign for the Celtics?

"Honestly, I think the Monroe situation should give Boston, and a lot of teams, hope," CBS Sports NBA writer James Herbert told Ryan Johnston & Kyle Draper (filling in for Toucher & Rich) on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday. "We're getting to the point in NBA free agency where things are changing a little bit. Everyone is talking about, 'wow, the Lakers haven't gotten anyone,' or 'wow, the Knicks haven't gotten anyone,' but that's not just this summer. That change has been happening for a while."

As with everything, Herbert says winning would change Boston's inability to attract big name free agents.

"I think once the Celtics start winning, it will be easier to recruit guys there. It's always been like that, but we're getting more and more to that stage," he said. "Monroe didn't go to Milwaukee because it's a destination city, obviously. They have a good young team and they needed someone to play his position. They offered him a good contract. We've seen teams build that way before; where they have three or four pieces and then they add that next guy. The Pacers got David West a few years ago, when he almost went to Boston, and he kind of put them over the hump.

"Boston is still a couple of moves away from being a team where players look at it and say they're going in the right direction," he said. "They are going in the right direction, but they just have to prove it a little more."

So for now, Danny Ainge will have to work his magic on the trade market, something he should be able to do with his treasure trove of future draft picks and young players.

"Danny Ainge obviously wants to get superstars on this team, and if you cant do that in free agency, the best way is to accumulate assets that are attractive to other teams. The Celtics are doing fine in that regard," said Herbert. "If they could have gotten Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge this summer they would have. But if you're not in a position to do that, what you can do is try to get good players on good contracts [mixed] with young players, and if you have that collection of assets with draft picks the Celtics have accumulated, you can trade for one of those guys."

Herbert said while Ainge is one of the more aggressive GMs in the NBA, he is also one of the more patient.

"He's not going to do something that is going to move the needle just a little bit and give up a whole ton of flexibility. He still has that flexibility and if he can hit a home run he's going to do it. That opportunity just hasn't happened so far."

Herbert also gives the latest of free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, and what the future holds for Rajon Rondo:

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