INDIANAPOLIS — It ended up being a frigid but busy Friday for the Celtics, who moved the recently acquired Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns and were on the verge of trading leading scorer Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Green, who is averaging 17.6 points per game, was informed of the trade about 50 minutes before the Celtics’ 107-103 overtime loss to Indiana. He watched the game from the locker room and will not be with the team this weekend, according to coach Brad Stevens.
The Celtics are trying to entice a third team to join the deal, according to NBA sources, but would also consummate the deal only with the Grizzlies involved.
Stevens would not comment on any Green deal.
Wright was dealt for a conditional first-round pick that was originally owned by the Minnesota Timberwolves and is protected from Nos. 1 to 12 in 2015 and 2016. If the pick is not conveyed to the Celtics by 2016, they will get second-rounders in 2016 and 2017. The Celtics also collected a trade exception from the deal in excess of $5 million.
The Suns were under the salary cap and were able to acquire Wright without sending a player to Boston in return.
Wright, acquired from the Dallas Mavericks in the Rajon Rondo deal last month, was told of the trade about 75 minutes before the Celtics faced the Pacers. Before meeting with Stevens, Wright told the Globe, “You see the writing on the wall. All I know is I’m inactive tonight.”
After learning of the trade, Wright said he was grateful for his time in Boston. He averaged 3.3 points in eight games.
“It’s tough, you can’t make excuses, it’s part of the business,” he said. “These things happen like this all the time. Got to get familiar with a team. Got to move again, that’s the toughest part, but can’t complain about moving to the Suns.”
Wright understood he was likely to be traded soon after the Rondo deal.
“This team, it’s not complete yet,” he said. “It’s in transition mode and building for the future. The front office is trying to acquire picks and acquire guys and find that right niche. Young coach. Young team. I knew that it was a possibility I could be moved again.”
Wright talked with coach Brad Stevens extensively over the last few days and knew at Friday morning’s shootaround he could be gone.
“I really appreciated him in the time I’ve been here, he’s a great guy,” Wright said. “A heck of a coach. He’s got this thing going in the right direction. He treated me with class the entire time I was here. I enjoyed the short stint working here with him.”
Said Stevens of Wright: “He’s a great kid. I said that many times. I really like the way he plays. With the guys that they have in that [Phoenix] system, he’ll really do well. It’s another jolt to your system.”
Before the game, Green was on the phone for most of his time in the locker room and said he had been informed of the potential deal.
According to an NBA source, the Celtics and Grizzlies were trying to work a third team into the deal. Veteran swingman Tayshaun Prince, who has an expiring $7.7 million salary, would be headed to Boston along with a first-round pick.
The Celtics could have up to 11 first-round picks over the next four years if the deal is consummated.
“It’s out there,” said Green before the game. “I can’t comment too much about it because I know nothing about it. As of now, I’m still a Celtic and I’m ready to play the game tonight. I guess we’ll see. I’m fine. I’m great.”
With a $9.2 million player option for next season, Green could become a restricted free agent in the summer, and if the Celtics don’t trade him, they could end up with nothing in compensation. Moving him ensures that the team gets assets and another expiring contract that will add to the salary cap space.
Green was acquired by the Celtics in 2011 — in the controversial Kendrick Perkins trade — as a potential cornerstone, but during his tenure he showed the same maddening inconsistency that he did in Oklahoma City.
He is the team’s leading scorer this season but his production has dropped since the Rondo deal; he was averaging just 11 points on 31 percent shooting in his last four games.
Prince, a 13-year veteran, played for the Grizzlies Friday night in their loss to New Orleans, scoring 6 points in 24 minutes.