Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday that despite rumors to the contrary, he doesn't expect to trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
"Yeah, I think that's by far the most likely thing. Sure," he said when asked whether he was comfortable saying the two stars will remain in Boston.
"I'll just repeat what I always tell you guys -- the things that are out there are the things that aren't true and the things that are happening are not being reported," he said regarding trade rumors.
"I can't give you much juice other than it's this time every year. There's a lot of conversation, and usually at this time of the year, the conversation isn't as serious. As it gets closer to the deadline, it gets a little bit more serious. You get a little bit better offers. It's still most people trying to make one-sided deals, as opposed to doing what's best for both teams. Which is -- a trade like a Rudy Gay trade is fairly unusual this time, this early before the deadline."
Garnett, fresh off joining the league's elite 25,000-point club, emphasized his desire to retire in Boston after Thursday's victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden.
Unprompted, Garnett sounded off on his name swirling in trade rumors recently while the Celtics try to overcome the loss of starters Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger.
"On a last note, I just want to say that I love my situation here," said Garnett. "I don't know what y'all sources or whoever's making up these bull---- --- articles about me getting traded to Denver and all these other places. But I bleed green and I continue to do that. And if it's up to me, then I'm going to retire a Celtic. So I just want everybody to know that, alright?"
Garnett owns a no-trade clause as part of a three-year extension he inked with Boston last season. If he desires to retire a Celtic, he can ensure that. Garnett left the door cracked ever-so slightly to allow for a change of scenery should Boston overhaul its roster and leave him no other option but to chase a title elsewhere.
Ainge said he will be patient moving forward and that he doesn't expect any wholesale changes to his roster this season.
"I want to see how our team plays over the next little while before the trade deadline, too," he said. "But I don't think we've had a true test of exactly what team we are yet. And I think that, because I've been doing this for 10 years now, but with this group of guys for the last couple of years, I don't see that much changing. There aren't a lot of teams that are trying to pursue players of KG and Paul's age, and I just think that we value them more than other teams value them.
"There's so many teams that are trying to get younger, so many teams that are trying to rebuild, so many teams are trying to get high draft picks already. I think that where we value them as players is just much greater than the rest of the league, which I think is common among players of their age."
Information from ESPNBoston.com's Chris Forsberg was used in this report.