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Celtics ‘unlikely’ to make a trade, Ainge says

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

DENVER -- The NBA trade deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday and Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn’t think the Celtics will have made a deal by then.

“It looks unlikely that anything will be done, other than possibly some players we will add to our roster,” Ainge said, adding that he wasn’t sure if they’d add them through free agency.

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Of course, if the Celtics were on the verge of making a move, Ainge, who spoke to reporters Tuesday in Denver, probably wouldn’t go on the record about it -- right now, anyway.

“There’s been a lot of conversation around the league and we’ve certainly been very busy at it, but trades are very challenging to make,” Ainge said. “And then on top of it is, we like our guys. I like watching this team play. I like the personalities of our team. We just need to find a way to give them the best chance to win with the resources we have.”

Ainge said that compared to previous years, the Celtics have definitely been more active in trade talks this year.

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“This year has been much more, just because we’ve had injuries,” he said. “We wouldn’t be talking as much if we didn’t have as many injuries.

“We’re looking to give it a run. When trade rumors come out that leads to a lot of (discussion) too. (Rajon) Rondo’s name comes out and Paul (Pierce)’s name comes out. KG (Kevin Garnett)’s name comes out. You have to field a lot of waste-of-time calls from media and other teams.

“Sometimes the teams just try to predict what a team is trying to accomplish: Are the Celtics trying to win a championship this year or are they trying to retool? Because we’re sort of in that middle, could go in either direction place, that leads to a lot of calls as well.

“My first choice is always to try to win now, especially when you have unique players like KG and Paul,” Ainge said. “That’s always the best option. But the injuries have at least allowed me to ponder other possibilities. It’s still going to be tough to convince me that’s what we need to do.”

Ainge added that if there was some serious trade buzz, then it’s “probably cooling down.”

“I’ve gotten answers from a lot of places on a lot of things that aren’t going to happen -- unless somebody springs something on you at the last minute, but that doesn’t usually happen,” he said.

Said Ainge: “I’m not looking to give up any of our players. We have a limited roster right now and I like all our guys. It’s just a matter of, is there a better fit, is there a position need. I don’t really think that there are. It’s just, can we improve our team?

“At the same time, I’m not giving Jared Sullinger away because he’s hurt. That’s a challenge. And I’m not trading Rajon Rondo away for discounted dollars because he’s hurt. We collectively as an organization have decided not to do that.”

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