Boston Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI that the team won't seek to add a point guard "right now" in the wake of losing Rajon Rondo for the remainder of the season with a torn right ACL.
"Well, not right now. There's a lot of reasons why we're not just jumping out and doing something right now," Ainge told WEEI. "I mean, there really is nobody that you're going to find to replace Rondo, obviously, through trade or through free-agent acquisition at this time of year with our (financial) inflexibility. But I think that we like the guys (we have). I mean, (Leandro) Barbosa's been dying for a chance to play and Jason Terry and Avery (Bradley are) playing some more point position. I think all of those guys are looking for an opportunity, so I think it's a chance for us to see those guys play without Rondo playing and just see what they're capable of doing."
Speculation mounted once news of Rondo's injury spread that Ainge would look to make drastic changes to the Celtics' roster. Ainge has since downplayed those thoughts, and noted Thursday that while the team will explore some potential changes, it doesn't "feel pressured" to make any moves at this time.
"So, first of all, whether we win every game or whether we struggle, I think it all depends on what opportunities are presented," Ainge said. "So we are open and listening and we'll have discussion in regarding a lot of different possibilities, but we don't feel pressured to do anything. I think that we want to make some change to help improve our team as we always do, but we don't feel pressured to."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers has campaigned to keep the roster intact and said during his weekly appearance on WEEI on Thursday morning that he would lobby Ainge to do just that, though that conversation might not be necessary.
"Yeah, I would, but I don't think we have to have that discussion," Rivers said. "I think Danny likes the team, as well. And obviously, we have to figure out against teams who will pressure us -- which, we'll get that -- what we're going to do. And if we can add another guard, we'll do it, but we're not out there searching."
Paul Pierce's name was raised as a potential trade chip, since only $4 million of his $15.3 million salary next season is guaranteed. Pierce reiterated before Tuesday's practice what he's said throughout his career -- that he wants to retire as a Celtic.
Ainge said Thursday he's had no trade discussions involving Pierce, and while Ainge also would like to see Pierce retire in Boston, if a serviceable deal presents itself, he would discuss it with the Celtics' captain.
"Nothing has been talked about with Paul or discussed. Nothing is close to being done," Ainge said. "I, too, would like to see Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic. That would be great. We're all attached to Paul. Paul has been great for the city, the franchise, to each of us individually. He's been a true pro. Having said that, if something came up, I would talk to Paul. But my job is to do what's best for the Boston fans, for the Boston Celtic team, and what's in the best interest of our team, regardless of my personal ties and personal relationships with players."