Celtics brushing off trade rumors

Celtics brushing off trade rumors
December 20, 2013, 4:45 pm
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C E L T I C S  P L A Y O F F  P I C T U R E 
in Eastern Conference

WALTHAM, Mass. —  When you've been in the NBA long enough, trade rumors become one of those necessary evils all players have to contend with at some point.

The Boston Celtics had a couple of players whose names were prominently mentioned in trade talks recently.

Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and a future first-round pick seemed on their way to Houston for Omer Asik.

However, on the eve of the Rockets' self-imposed Thursday deadline to trade their disgruntled center, Houston's front office opted to let the deadline pass and not do a deal with any team - for now at least.

Representatives for both Celtics players were informed that there was no trade happening.

But that came after a couple days - a lifetime by trade rumor standards.

"Our guys handled it well," said Boston's Jared Sullinger. "It was kind of unfair. Three games they had to answer questions about trade rumors. After (Wednesday's loss to Detroit), they didn't care if the Pistons won or we won or we lost; they asked about trade rumors."

While the topic is a bit uncomfortable for players, both Lee and Bass addressed in some fashion each question asked of them.

Lee said he was told to not worry about it.

"That's what I did," Lee said.

Bass is more consumed by improving his game, than figuring out where he'll be playing.

"Every day you have to come in with the same mindset," Bass said. "That's how I look at it. Come in every day try and improve, work on my game; help my teammates and my team as much as possible. And go out every night and try to get a win; just have the same mindset everyday and that's to get better."

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens may from time to time speak to his players about a specific topic, but he refuses to address rumors.

"I'm not gonna talk to them about anything that is a rumor," Stevens said. "But if I know something, my door is always open. They can come in and I'll tell them straight-up what I know. But the bottom line is, we live in a world that everyday because of technology, we can better clutter our minds. And we all would love a clear mind for one day. The deal is, you can't play basketball without a clear mind. So you have to do your best to control what you can, clear your mind and not get too overly concerned about things that aren't confirmed by people in the position that are ultimately going to make those decisions."