SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday night that he worked on deals of all varieties -- big and small; for now and for the future -- but ultimately couldn't hammer out a swap that made sense for Boston and its potential trade partner(s) before the NBA's 3 p.m. deadline passed.
"I guess what prevented any trade was making at least two teams in a deal happy, or satisfied that a deal was worthwhile," said Ainge. "But as late as 2:57, there was still trades that were possible and being negotiated. We were close to handful of different types of trades -- small to bigger -- that just couldn’t be resolved. That happens often."
Asked later if he approached the deadline as a buyer or a seller, Ainge added, "I was looking at both opportunities, to strengthen our team for the playoff run this year and/or build some chips and some assets for future. We actually had a lot of conversation on both sides, but nothing seemed good enough to do."
Ainge acknowledged the lingering need to add a big man and said the team will move slowly with an eye on who becomes available via buyouts over the next eight days before the waiver deadline for playoff eligibility.
"We do need to add a big man," said Ainge. "We’re waiting to find the best big man available. And we’ll be a little bit patient on that, and see who is available."
"We haven’t gotten there yet," he said. "That is a possibility, but I haven’t addressed that with any of our players yet."
Ainge said he is scheduled to meet with O'Neal on Friday. The veteran center has missed the last 11 games after aggravating a long-standing left wrist injury. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Thursday in San Francisco that he didn't expect O'Neal to be back with the team this season.
"I’m actually going to meet with [O'Neal on Friday]," said Ainge. "I've just have been swamped the last few days since I got back from L.A. ... [O'Neal is] actually working out here [at the team's practice facility in Waltham]. I have an appointment with him tomorrow."
And does Ainge expect a resolution?
"I don’t know. Good question, I don’t know what’s going to come from that meeting," he said.