Ainge all ears, but still '50-50' on possible trade

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Ainge all ears, but still '50-50' on possible trade

With the NBA Trade Deadline upon us, rumors that have been swirling for weeks (months!) will culminate at around 3:00 p.m.

The Celtics have been involved in a number of them, and for good reason. They're a team that doesn't appear to have a serious run left in them -- although they've played better of late. On top of that, they've got some players that could potentially bring back enough talent to make Celtics president Danny Ainge pull the trigger.

But so far, he hasn't seen anything worth trading for. Speaking on WEEI Thursday morning, Ainge admitted that there really isn't much out there, but if teams meet his demands as the day unfolds, there could be action.

"I have no desire to move anybody on our team," Ainge said. "I have to look and so far I have nothing. We don't have anything that we're really excited about right now. If somebody steps up and ups their offer today, who knows what might happen by the trade deadline. But I'm prepared and comfortable with letting the season play out and if somebody wants to throw in first-round draft picks, or give quality young players, that's something we have to consider."

The Celtics aren't necessarily "buyers" or "sellers" it seems, just looking to get better any way they can.

"I have not been close because I don't feel like we need to. I don't want to move the guys, but I have to listen," Ainge said. "If something becomes available I'll pull the trigger. But based on some of the offers that we've had, and the interest, it's just not worth it."

So will there be a trade today?

"I think it's 50-50," Ainge said. "It may be a small deal. It may be not as exciting as what people may expect. But we're working hard. We'll work hard the rest of the day until 3 o'clock."

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.