The Celtics have found new life since the All-Star break. In that time, they've gone on an impressive 21-10 run, surprising everyone in what is assumed to be the last run for the Big Three.
According to a report, though, the Big Three's run was very nearly cut short.
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Danny Ainge had separate deals to trade Ray Allen and Paul Pierce fall apart just before the trade deadline on March 15.
The Celtics were ready to send Allen to Memphis in exchange for guard OJ Mayo and a draft pick. The deal was so close to completion that the Celtics actually called Allen to tell him he had been dealt. But then the trade fell through and Allen stayed put. Awkward.
Pierce was very nearly traded to New Jersey in exchange for Mehmet Okur's expiring contract and a lottery pick. Had this one been pulled off, it would have signaled the official beginning of the rebuilding process: Team captain gone, more salary cap relief, the arrival of a promising rookie to anticipate.
Instead, whether Danny Ainge wanted it this way or not, the Celtics' core remained in tact and they are now looking at an Atlantic Division title and a likely No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.