Ainge: 'Nothing that was good enough to do' at trade deadline

Ainge: 'Nothing that was good enough to do' at trade deadline

Danny Ainge may have been busy in the days leading up to the trade deadline, but 3 p.m. came and went Thursday without the Celtics making a single move to improve their roster for the stretch run. 

Speaking to reporters after the deadline, the Celtics president of basketball operations said that none of his discussions proved to yield a deal worth making. 

“Ultimately, we had a lot of conversations,” Ainge said. “There’s things that we can do to improve our team, but nothing that was good enough to do. 

Ainge, who was rumored to be in talks for Indiana’s Paul George, among others, said it’s “hard to say” how close he came to finalizing any sort of trade. 

“I think that it takes two teams, so a lot of times we don’t know how close,” Ainge said. “A lot of times it’s very easy to tell that teams are very far apart, but a lot of discussion, good conversation, lot of rumors that were true, lot of rumors that weren’t true.”

Ainge did not specify what exactly the C’s were looking to add, saying only, “We’re looking to improve our team.” He said that it’s well-understood what value the Nets’ first-round pick holds throughout the league. The C’s reportedly were willing to include the pick in a trade for George before the Pacers decided against trading the player. 

Boston’s lack of moves makes it less likely the second-place C’s can catch the Cavaliers and enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

“Like we’ve said all year, we won’t put a ceiling on this team, but we haven’t seen the best of this team; I’m confident,” Ainge said. “I do believe that there’s more to play better and healthier. Our whole team hasn’t been intact for very many games. We’ve had our starting five I think for less than 20, but our whole team hasn’t been healthy for very many games the whole year. 

“As you guys have been watching lately, we’ve been winning a lot of games with everybody contributing. Players 10 through 15 are contributing to our wins, so we like the depth the team, we like the youth of the team, we like the energy and enthusiasm of our team, and I’m very anxious and excited to watch them the second half of the year.” 

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

Jayson Tatum comes up big vs Paul George, Thunder

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum had another strong performance for the Boston Celtics, doing so against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul George, a player Tatum has acknowledged on more than one occasion he has looked up to. 

That admiration didn’t get in the way of Tatum delivering a big-time performance in helping Boston rally from six points down with 12.7 seconds to play, to knock off the Thunder 100-99.

Tatum tallied a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds. And doing so at 20 years and 17 days old, Tatum became the youngest player in franchise history to tally at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game.

“It feels good,” Tatum said when asked about his first 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound game in the NBA. “But honestly, I’m just glad we won. That was a big win against a great team and it was fun playing out there today.”

Impacting the game on multiple levels offensively along with being a defensive and rebounding force are qualities often associated with George who became familiar with Tatum prior to last June’s NBA draft which is when the Celtics selected him with the third overall pick. 

“I reached out to him before he was coming into this draft and I got to talk to him,” said George, who had 24 points and a game-high 13 rebounds against the Celtics. “It’s an honor when you see young talent. I‘ve been inspired by many in this league so it’s great to inspire the younger generation in this league.”

And while Tatum may be young, he continues to prove himself up for whatever challenges await him. 

“We are going to keep throwing to the wolves and keep going to him in those moments,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Boston closed out the game with an 8-1 spurt in the final 24.7 seconds, with Tatum either scoring or assisting on five of those points which includes assistant on Marcus Morris’ game-winner.

Tatum’s composure down the stretch comes from being influenced by many, including George who considers it “an honor” that Tatum holds him in high regard. 

“At the end of the day, us veteran guys want the younger guys to take the game further and advance much farther than what I was,” George said. “There’s going to be kids looking up to Jayson (Tatum) that are probably already looking up to Jayson (Tatum).”


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

1:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Kyrie Irving getting a second opinion on his injured knee and what the Kyrie’s options are for the remainder of the season.

5:53 - Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics stunning last second comeback win over the Thunder with multiple key players sitting out.

10:27 - Tom Curran and Jerod Mayo stop by Early Edition to play a game of Fill in the Blank that involves Gronkowski’s contract and the Patriots best offseason acquisition.