By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Like clockwork, we’re now hearing that the Celtics were the runner-up in a pretty big move less than 24 hours after the NBA trade deadline.

We usually hear about Danny Ainge getting oh so close to adding players around this time of the year, only to come up a bit short. This time around, it’s center Nikola Vucevic, whom the Orlando Magic traded to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday to kick off a flurry of moves in the NBA.

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According to The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the Celtics were “finalists” for Vucevic. The Celtics offered up a package that included two first-round picks for the All-Star center, but not enough to best Chicago’s offer of Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and a pair of first-round picks.

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And one “almost” trade wasn’t enough for the Celtics to leak in the aftermath of the deadline this year. Himmelsbach is also reporting that Boston was prepared to up their offer of a young player and a first-round pick for Orlando forward Aaron Gordon, but they never got a chance before Gordon was sent to the Denver Nuggets for Garry Harris Jr., RJ Hampton and a first-round pick.

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While Ainge may have had visions of adding a pair of Magic big men to the roster, he ended up settling for Orlando swingman Evan Fournier. He did add a few bigs to the Celtics in Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet, albeit at the cost of starting center Daniel Theis. Staff