Celtics stand pat at trade deadline

Celtics stand pat at trade deadline
March 15, 2012, 8:51 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the Boston Celtics are just as undersized as they were before.

Even after the 3 p.m. (EST) deadline passed, there was still the possibility that a team like the C's may have had a deal in the works.

However, a league source indicated that was not the case with Boston.

By standing pat, the Celtics are rolling the dice that their "small ball" roster will continue to find ways to win despite being at a size disadvantage most nights.

Since returning from the all-star break, Boston is 8-2 which includes a 105-103 win at Golden State on Wednesday.

However, the desire to add a big seemed as though it would be stronger with the news that Chris Wilcox would need heart surgery and therefore miss the remaining 2011-2012 season.

The biggest hold-up in getting a deal done, according to multiple sources, was Danny Ainge insisting that any deal involving his core players would return some combination of young talent and at least one future draft pick.

As the deadline closed in, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were the two Celtics garnering most of the attention.

A league source said the Portland Trail Blazers were one of the teams that had "strong" interest in both players, but would only seriously consider such a deal if they received a first-round pick in return from Boston.

That wasn't going to happen.

The Blazers ultimately moved on with a flurry of separate deals, which included one in which they reportedly sent Gerald Wallace to New Jersey in exchange for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams and a protected first-round pick.

So where does that leave the C's?

With Wilcox out for the season, the Celtics may seek a medicaldisabled player exception which would achieve the two goals the Celtics have in mind now -- free up a roster spot without breaking up the roster.

Boston has yet to speak with absolute certainty as to what the future holds for the team and Jermaine O'Neal (wrist). O'Neal is contemplating season-ending wrist surgery along with cortisone shots that would keep him off the court for a couple weeks afterward.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has said he isn't planning on having O'Neal back, but added it would be a "bonus" if he did return and contribute to the already paper-thin frontcourt.

Boston's best shot at adding an impact big man now lies with New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman.

The Hornets have been trying to trade him for weeks, but could not find a deal that they felt was good enough.

Kaman, who is due more than 14 million this season, is a prime candidate for a buy-out.

That would allow him to choose to play for any team he wants to, a list that will include the Celtics.

Boston will have stiff competition from Miami and San Antonio, two teams that could also benefit from the 29-year-old center who has career averages of 11.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

But of the three teams, the C's offer him the greatest opportunity to play major minutes. In addition, the Celtics will have significant salary cap space this summer when Kaman becomes an unrestricted free agent.

In addition, it would afford the nine-year veteran a chance at the being in the playoffs for only the second time (2005-2006, Los Angeles Clippers) in his career.