Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Celtics almost traded Ray Allen
By Chris Forsberg
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers confirmed that the team nearly traded Ray Allen at last month's deadline, dubbing it a "scary moment," but suggesting it's in the rearview mirror for the player and team.
Earlier Wednesday, Yahoo! Sports reported the Celtics were close to a deal that would have sent Allen to the Memphis Grizzlies for a package that included O.J. Mayo and a draft pick.
The report indicated Rivers even called Allen to alert him to the trade -- Rivers said he never did that, but acknowledged that Allen and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge were in contact during the trade talks -- and the coach said he breathed a sigh of relief when Boston's core emerged intact when the deadline passed.
"It was a scary moment, for all of us. If you lose Ray, that's a scary moment," Rivers said. "He's pretty good."
Asked if he was in favor of keeping the Big Three together, Rivers added, "I wouldn't want to see Ray, Paul [Pierce] or Kevin [Garnett] ever moved. That's just how you are. Even if you got the best deal in the world, you're still losing guys you have an attachment with. That would be scary for me, or any of us."
Rivers tried to dismiss Wednesday's hoopla, suggesting it was old news for Boston.
"I don't see what the big deal is; that was a month ago," Rivers said. "I'm serious, I don't get the big deal of it."
Rivers also said the near deal had no lingering impact on Allen or the team.
"Our guys are great, that's the point," Rivers said. "Afterwards, we were all good, just moved forward. That's what I love about this team."
Allen (ankle), along with Rajon Rondo (back) and Mickael Pietrus (knee), missed Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic. Rivers said the trio might also miss Friday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Sasha Pavlovic took Rondo's spot in the starting lineup with Avery Bradley shuffling to the point guard spot. The absence of Pietrus and Allen left the Boston bench short-handed again, one night after being outscored 55-2 in a loss to the Knicks.