Ainge: Celtics were ‘very close’ to major deadline deal

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hinted Friday that Boston was close to cutting a major deal on trade deadline day.
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Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hinted Friday that Boston was close to cutting a major deal on trade deadline day.

During a weekly radio appearance on Boston’s 98.5 FM the Sports Hub, Ainge shed light on the Celtics’ behind-the-scenes activity, which ultimately resulted in the team staying put. Ainge said the Celtics’ unprotected first-round pick via the Nets was a big part of talks.

He added that Boston made a major offer that went off the table at the last minute.

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“We were very close. One story I probably can share with you is, I can’t tell you the team or the name, but it was very close,” Ainge said, according to ESPN. “It was something that we had been deliberating on for two days straight. The other team was doing that. And we were wrapping ourselves around a big package to do a deal. At the very last minute, they just said they did not want to do it. They just backed out. It was a deal that was talked about, thought about, and that was probably the closest that we came.”

“We were willing to do one deal, it just didn't happen,” Ainge said later. “Both teams weren't ready to go and it was a really tough, close deal. It was certainly not a no-brainer. There was risk on both sides. But, at the end of the day, both teams were not ready to do it.”

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Ainge added that ultimately he was comfortable enough with Boston’s assets, depth and young players to stay put.

The Celtics are 32–23 and third in the Eastern Conference entering Friday night’s game against the Jazz.