With two major trades, Ainge revived the Boston Celtics and turned them into NBA champions. He dumped a few contracts and players on Seattle to get Ray Allen on draft night a year ago and later acquired Kevin Garnett from Minnesota for five players and two first-round picks, a bold move that sent shockwaves through the league and that are still being felt.
As he prepares for Thursday's NBA draft, Ferry, whose flawed team pushed the Celtics to a seventh game in the Eastern Conference semifinals, doesn't feel any pressure to match Ainge.
"It was a perfect storm for Danny," he said. "Obviously it worked out very well with a combination of assets and picks that he made two pretty special things happen. He made all of us look bad and that will be a standard that everyone will be talking about for a while. I'm not so sure it can be duplicated what he did."
Ferry has shown he's not averse to a blockbuster trade. He dealt half his active roster at the trading deadline in February, sending starters Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden along with four others to acquire Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and Joe Smith.
There's a chance the Cavaliers, who have the No. 19 overall pick in the first round and a second-round selection, could pull off a colossal swap but Ferry, whose staff brought in 50 players for pre-draft workouts and interviews, indicated that he's more inclined to ride into next season with his current roster.
"I like our team," he said. "I like the makeup of our team. We're not a perfect team but I think this team, this year is capable of beating anybody."
As always, trade rumors are rampant in the hours leading into the draft. The biggest one surrounding Cleveland involves Milwaukee shooting star Michael Redd, a player the Cavaliers pursued but couldn't sign as a free agent a few seasons back.
Redd, who this week was named to the U.S. Olympic team along with Cavs All-Star LeBron James, could be had for the right price. He has three years and $51 million left on his contract, and Ferry would need to give up some key parts - perhaps Daniel Gibson and Anderson Varejao - along with some top picks to bring Redd to Cleveland.
Bucks general manager John Hammond indicated he would listen to offers for Redd, who averaged 22.7 points last season for one of the league's worst teams.
"We have to consider what's best for our organization, for our team," Hammond said. "There have been many, many great players traded at some point in their careers, some have gone on to be Hall of Fame players that have been traded."
Adding Redd would bring needed firepower to the offensively challenged Cavs, and finally give James a running mate to help make another title chase.
At the least, Redd's arrival would quiet talk that James will leave as a free agent once his contract expires in 2010.
Ferry will continue to bring in quality talent to help James, but he's not going make any rash moves simply to placate his superstar.
"LeBron likes the guys on our team," Ferry said. "He wants to win a championship. I want to win a championship. (Coach) Mike Brown, Zydrunas (Ilgauskas), we have a list of people who all want to win and all of us want to get better. LeBron likes his teammates. What he has always said is, 'I like our team. I like this team and if we need to make changes that's fine. I want to win a championship.' And I feel the same way."
If the Cavaliers stand pat and hold onto their first-round pick, they are likely to select a big man in a draft Ferry believes is deep in quality centers and power forwards. Among the players who could be available when the Cavs are on the clock: Georgetown's Roy Hibbert, Ohio State's Kosta Koufos, Stanford's Robin Lopez and Rider's Jason Thompson.
Ferry's goal is to find a "rotational player for a high-level team." That could mean someone who could get playing time next season or may need time to develop.
"Every player we will look at at 19 will have a different story," he said. "Some of them will be guys you'd like to see have an impact this year. Some of them may be 18 months away, but hopefully will have a chance to be real NBA players. That's part of the challenge in making decisions on draft night. I do believe we are very well prepared. Our scouting staff have really attacked the draft. I'm comfortable we can make a sound decision."