Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck told WEEI’s “Mut and Merloni” on Tuesday that his team was very active at last week’s NBA trade deadline despite failing to get a blockbuster deal done. Grousbeck said the names of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett came up the most in trade talks.
“For the last two or three days before the deadline, their names came up more than anybody else,” Grousbeck said. “They were the topic of conversation with the calls coming into us, because people thought maybe we weren’t going to keep it together this spring.”
On why the Celtics didn’t pull the trigger, Grousbeck said, “I know what the offers were. You wouldn’t have taken them.”
Grousbeck said several offers were on the table that would have been “significant” shakeups for the Celtics, including a four-team deal that fell through because two of the other teams involved backed out.
“Most of the other guys in this league are not as confident as we are in making trades,” Grousbeck said. “We are aggressive in exploring things through. I’m not saying we’re always right. But we are more likely to make a trade and stick to it than anybody else in the league. The rest of them are afraid to do anything. They’ll say they’ll do it and then they won’t.
“It takes two teams to trade, and it’s very incorrect to accuse us of not looking for things.”
Despite not pulling off a major deal, Grousbeck said he was happy with the way the Celtics have played of late. He mentioned Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Avery Bradley as players he expected to be with the team in five years. He said that the playoffs will serve an important purpose even if the Celtics aren’t in contention.
“We think we’ve got a chance this year to do something important, to show these younger players what it means to be a Celtics team fighting hard in the playoffs,” said Grousbeck. “With KG and Paul, and Bradley behind them and Jeff Green behind them, I’m excited about this team. I’m not saying we’ll win the thing. We have won the thing. I know what it feels like. We’ve been to the Finals another time. This team is tough. I wouldn’t wanna play them in the playoffs.”
Grousbeck said ownership was heavily involved in any discussions concerning potential trades of Pierce and Garnett. He said the Celtics would retire Pierce’s number whether or not he finishes his career with the Celtics. Asked about Garnett, he said that anyone who was integral in bringing banner No. 17 to Boston deserved their number in the rafters as well.