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.”