Which unrumored superstar was nearly traded to the Boston Celtics on Thursday? UPDATED: Mystery target identified
As the clock hit 3:00 PM on Thursday, the Boston Celtics didn't make any moves at the NBA trade deadline. However, according to Danny Ainge, it wasn't for lack of trying.
In an interview this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Ainge stated that the C's were "very close" to pulling off a blockbuster trade before the other team backed out. And the most mysterious part is that Danny insinuated that the superstar he was attempting to acquire was not any that had been linked to Boston in trade rumors leading up to the deadline:
Info Ainge gave me indicated #Celtics near-deal did NOT involve Horford, Howard, Griffin, Love or other previously reported stars.
"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. "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."
Ainge later added: "We were willing to do one deal, it just didn't happen. 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."
Danny also didn't elaborate on what pieces the Celtics would have moved to make the deal happen, but in a separate interview with WBZ, he did suggest that the Brooklyn draft pick would have been in play. In addition, the possibility remains to revisit the pursuit of this player "later on down the road" (most likely this summer):
"Every team has different goals, but ultimately I think that a lot of
discussions that we had, I think can set the path for something later
on down the road," Ainge said. "Before we got Kevin Garnett,
it was something that we had talked about for two years. So you just
never know what might happen later. So we’ll keep at it. I feel good
that we still have a lot of good young players, a lot of good young
players on good contracts, a team that is playing really well, a great
coach. And we have a lot of assets. So we’ll just see how it goes next
time around this summer.”
In a separate radio appearance with
Boston news radio WBZ, Ainge said Brooklyn’s 2016 pick would have likely
been included in the proposed blockbuster and that the star player
coming back to Boston was not part of the rumors that swirled before the
So who could this mystery superstar be if it's not Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, or Blake Griffin? Could it be James Harden? Carmelo Anthony? Jimmy Butler? Paul George? Kevin Durant? DeMarcus Cousins? Or is Danny just bluffing?