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Danny Ainge has been saying that he doesn't think the Celtics will make a deadline deal.

There's been several rumors involving the Celtics, everything from trading Kevin Garnett, to trading for Josh Smith, to even trading Rajon Rondo. Ainge denies them all.

Boston Herald:
“I’m not looking to give up any of our players,” Ainge said. “We have a limited roster, and it’s a matter of is it a better fit? Is there a better position need? I don’t really think that there are. So it’s just if we can improve our team. At the same time, I’m not giving Jared Sullinger away just because he’s hurt. It’s a challenge. I’m not trading Rajon Rondo away for discounted dollars because he’s hurt. As an organization we’ve decided not to do that.”

Ainge has also come straight out and said a deal is unlikely.

However, according to the Herald, NBA GMs around the league would be shocked if the Celtics didn't make a deal at the deadline.

As Danny Ainge downplayed the possibility the Celtics will be involved in a transaction before tomorrow’s NBA trade deadline, general managers and personnel people around the league are saying quite the opposite.

They’ll be stunned if the Celts don’t make a deal of some sort.

“They’re too active,” said one. “They’ve been putting a lot of different things out there, and you’d have to think at least one of them is going to come through.”

Ainge has made some sort of move, or tried to at least, every year of the Kevin Garnett era. That is, every year except 2012 and 2008. However, he nearly pulled off a major deal last year and in 2008 he signed Sam Cassel and P.J. Brown.

So who do you believe? The rival GMs around the league or Ainge?

My first thought was to believe the GMs, thinking that obviously Ainge was going to deny any trades like he always does. That got me to thinking I should research everything Ainge has said regarding trades before the deadline every year, a perfect way to gauge how truthful he was.

I have to say, overall, he was actually pretty honest. It is a GMs job to lie, and obviously he can't say anything like "the team is terrible I'm going to blow it up". However, he's been pretty forthright when he's been trying to make a trade and if he thinks there's a possibility of making a move.

Here's a list of the last four years, what Ainge did, and what he said before he did it.

In 2012-

Deadline deal: None (But Ainge had essentially traded Ray Allen for O.J. Mayo at the trade deadline until it was scrapped at the last minute. It went as far as Allen getting the call to tell him he'd been traded.)

Ainge before deadline:
WEEI:
"It's a fine line," Ainge said. "But I'm not going to sacrifice future assets to help our bench right at this minute." Ainge said that he gets a "handful" of calls a day but that nothing is imminent as the March 15 trade deadline approaches. "As of right now we have nothing close to happening," he said. "It's not from a lack of trying. Not necessarily to make major changes, but to make small changes at least."

Not sure trying to trade Ray Allen counts as a small change, but it at least hinted that Danny Ainge was actually trying to make a move.

In 2011-

Deadline Deal: The Perkins for Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green trade

Ainge before deadline:
PBT:
“We may be looking at the trade deadline to make a move,” Ainge said. “And not just for the short term. We’ll see how Marquis does. I like our team. But the Marquis situation could give us something to think about at the perimeter. We’ll just have to see where he is.”

In 2010-

Deadline deal: Nate Robinson for Eddie House

Ainge before deadline:
NESN:
"I have had conversations with a lot of teams, but those have never been discussed. There are a lot of things I would like to do, but I don't feel a need to do something. I am always looking to upgrade the team, if possible."

In 2009-

Deadline deal: Traded Sam Cassel for Mikki Moore, signed Marbury

Ainge before deadline:
Herald:
“Our best chance to acquire someone might be after the deadline with a player who gets bought out and becomes a free agent,” GM Danny Ainge said this morning. “But right now I have no idea who what players might be available.”

Ainge and the Celts continue to explore the trade market, but as of now there doesn’t seem to be much to indicate they can be a major player. The club would clearly like to get a backup center, but it is not going to simply grab any tall guy.

“We’re looking. We’re always looking,” said Ainge. “But at the same time, I like our team. Even though I don’t think it’s perfect, I like it a lot. And I think Leon (Powe) and Baby (Glen Davis) are both significantly improved from last year and will be even more going into the playoffs. Our need there is not as great.”

So overall it's pretty clear that Ainge hasn't exactly lied a whole lot. Sure he'll say things like he likes the team, but he has to say that stuff. Looking at his comments its relatively clear in hindsight that he was being pretty truthful overall.

Still, does that mean the other GMs are lying? I think Ainge might have been looking to make a deal, but he doesn't have much to work with. For that reason, I probably lean towards believing him when he says he sees it as unlikely.

For more Celtics trade buzz click here.

Mike Saver 2/20/2013 11:09:00 AM Edit
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