BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has been on the phone plenty ahead of Thursday afternoon’s NBA trade deadline, but he isn’t too confident the team will get anything done.
“It looks unlikely that anything will be done, other than possibly some players we will add to our roster,” Ainge told the Boston Herald from Denver on Tuesday. “Not sure yet of what that will be.”
Ainge said the Celtics wouldn’t be talking so much, or in so many rumors, had they not been hit with a recent rash of injuries — losing both Rajon Rondo and Leandro Barbosa to ACL injuries and rookie Jared Sullinger to back surgery for the rest of the season over the last month.
Ainge is certainly looking to add to the small group of healthy players the Celtics currently have on their roster (just nine ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Nuggets), but was quick to say he wants to make another run with the core of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
“Trades are very challenging to make, and then on top of that we like our guys,” he said. “I like watching this team play, I like the personality of our team. We just need to find a way to give them the best chance to win with the resources we have.”
Gallery: Ainge’s Trades
“We’re looking to give it a run. When trade rumors come out that leads to a lot of (discussion) too,” he told the Herald. “(Rajon) Rondo’s name comes out and Paul (Pierce)’s name comes out. KG (Kevin Garnett)’s name comes out. You have to field a lot of waste-of-time calls from media and other teams.”
We’ll know in the next 48 hours if Ainge’s allegiance to his veteran stars is true or just posturing to get a better bounty at the deadline. He’s never been afraid to pull the trigger on a deal — no matter how it will be viewed by the public.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m..