Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on WEEI Friday the team pursued deals to acquire big-name players including Kevin Martin from Sacramento, Amare Stoudemire from Phoenix and Caron Butler from Washington before landing Nate Robinson from the Knicks.
"We did talk about getting Stoudemire," Ainge said. "I got a sense [Phoenix wasn't] getting the things they wanted. I think they would have moved him, but I think they like Amare. He's a terrific player and they didn't get what they wanted."
He said he had discussions with the Kings about Martin, who ended up going to Houston. "Yes, we did have interest and discussions," he said.
He said the Celtics were looking in several directions, trying to find a fit as they head into the second half of the season and make a playoff push.
"We had some wish-list players, but they weren't available," Ainge added. He said that many of the trade rumors reported in the media were off base, and several of the deals he was actually working on weren't picked up by reporters.
On Robinson, Ainge said: "I'm fan of him as a person and I'm a fan of him as a player. I liked Eddie. We really liked Eddie House. But Nate is just a more dynamic player."
Ainge said the deal had been done days ago but the Knicks wanted to wait before finalizing it.
He praised Robinson's speed and athleticism, and said he should help the Celtics' offense immensely. "He creates space in the paint," Ainge said. "He's the kind of guy that you can run a high-pick-and-roll offense with. He's a scorer."