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Celtics don't find any deals to their liking
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, right, and forward Jeff Green react in the closing seconds of a 100-94 loss to the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on Wednesday. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
"There was a lot of talk, but I'm not sure it was negotiating," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said after Thursday's trade deadline passed and his team — anticipated to be a big participant — finished the day with the same lineup it had at the start.
There was Jordan Crawford for Jason Collins last year, and nothing in 2012. And it appears to be back to nothing, as Ainge now will allow expiring contracts and most team options to fade from view (Kris Humphries, Jerryd Bayless, Keith Bogans, Joel Anthony).
In other words, nothing changed once the trade deadline passed at 3 p.m. Thursday and Ainge had not pulled the trigger.
Though his part in the front-office debates and negotiations was limited — indeed, Stevens had enough to do without chasing dead-ended discussions — it also freed up the coach to continue molding the on-court product.
Though Stevens was prepared for the possibility that he would go into Friday night's game against the Lakers with a vastly different lineup, it's also a relief to continue working with the same combinations and rotations.
The Celtics point guard declined comment Thursday, citing the sanctity of his day off, but player and coach now get to continue their franchise-shaping collaboration.
"I haven't looked at it any differently in the time I've been here, but it's not just with him," the coach said. "I need to continue to invest time in every guy on this roster. That's been a good thing for us so far. The staff has done a good job investing in each player. Whether it's Rondo or one of the other guys, everyone gets better because of this experience."
"I never stop coaching for the now, but I never lose sight of coaching for the future," he said. "The reason is you have to coach for the now to put your team in a position to play their very best on that given night."