Don’t say the Boston Celtics didn’t try to make something happen at the trade deadline, because apparently they did.
Celtics president Danny Ainge said in an interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show that the team came very close to pulling off a big trade, but the other team pulled out “at the very last minute” and thus no deal [h/t NBC Sports‘ Dan Feldman]:
We were very close. One story I can probably share with you is – I can’t tell you the team or the name – but it was very close. It was something 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. And at the very last minute, they just said they did not want to do it. They just backed out. So, 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, and it just didn’t happen. Both teams weren’t ready to go. And it was a really, tough close deal. And it was certainly not a no-brainer. There was risk on both sides’ part. But at the end of the day, both teams were not ready to do it.
And Ainge told Adam Kaufman of WBZ NewsRadio, the 2016 first-round pick belonging to Boston via the Brooklyn Nets was involved in the “bigger package” the Celtics planned to include in the deal. Also, via Kaufman, Ainge said the mystery team was never reported as a rumored deal.
Info Ainge gave me indicated #Celtics near-deal did NOT involve Horford, Howard, Griffin, Love or other previously reported stars.
— Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) February 19, 2016
With the assets the Celtics possessed in talent and draft picks, it was assumed they’d make a big trade at Thursday’s deadline, but 3 p.m. ET passed and nothing. No word on if Ainge will ever reveal who the mystery trade was for.