Ainge: Talked to Shaq, but deal unlikely

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations said Thursday morning that he has spoken with free-agent Shaquille O’Neal about the possibility of coming to Boston but thought it unlikely that a deal get done.

“I don’t think that Shaquille is that much of a possibility,” Ainge said in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “The door is not shut but I don’t think it’s a real possibility right now. Certainly not our top priority.”

For starters, because the Celtics would only be able to pay Shaq the veteran’s minimum, the team would have to work out a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers in order to realistically have a chance at landing him.

“We’ve had conversations and we have ongoing conversations with Shaquille,” Ainge said. “In order to get Shaquille it would have to be a sign-and-trade situation. That door hasn’t been completely slammed, although it’s very unlikely once we signed Jermaine [O’Neal].”

The 38-year-old O’Neal averaged 12 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers last season.

Ainge also reiterated his belief that center Rasheed Wallace was going to retire. There had been rumors that Wallace was reconsidering the decision.