Ainge: Unlikely to make deadline deal

Though he acknowledged talking a lot of calls, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Tuesday he thought it was unlikely he will make a trade before Thursday’s deadline.

"It looks unlikely that anything will be done, other than possibly some players we will add to our roster," Ainge told the Boston Herald in Denver, where his Celtics face the Nuggets on Tuesday night. "Not sure yet of what that will be.

"There’s been a lot of conversation around the league, and we’ve been very busy. Trades are very challenging to make, and then on top of that we like our guys. I like watching this team play, I like the personality of our team. We just need to find a way to give them the best chance to win with the resources we have."

Ainge said he’s been fielding more interest than usual, as teams are trying to figure out whether the Celtics -- who sit a season-high four games over .500 but have lost three key players to season-ending injuries in the last couple of weeks -- are going to be buyers or sellers. At least publicly, Ainge has maintained that he isn’t looking to blow this team up.

Kevin Garnett has gotten the most attention, the latest rumors indicating the Clippers are making a run at him even as he has repeatedly said he will not waive his no-trade clause. In recent days, Garnett, Paul Pierce and even Rajon Rondo have made the rounds in the ever-frenzied NBA rumor mill.

The Celtics have lost Rondo (torn ACL), Jared Sullinger (back surgery) and Leandro Barbosa (torn ACL) to season-ending injuries while winning eight of nine games before the All-Star break.

"My first choice is always to try to win now, especially when you have unique players like KG and Paul," Ainge told the Herald. "That’s always the best option. But the injuries have at least allowed me to ponder other possibilities. It’s still going to be tough to convince me that’s what we need to do."