Lost amidst the loss last night was the relative bombshell dropped by Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo of just how close Ray Allen was to being dealt on the Thursday of the trade deadline:
As the NBA trade deadline lurched into its final hour a month ago, league sources say the call Ray Allen long feared had come: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was on the line, telling him he had been traded. Allen had been sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for a package including O.J. Mayo and a draft pick, and the Celtics’ Big Three had come to a most brusque ending.
For 20 minutes or so, Allen had to process the information. They traded me to Memphis? And yet, as the disappointment dissolved to anger, Rivers returned with a messenger’s nightmare: Never mind. The deal fell apart. Take a deep breath and let’s go back to work again.
There would have probably been a lot of salary filler coming Boston’s way as well to make the salaries match, but this is a kind of deal that Ainge may been happy about down the line, unless this one about Pierce that Bill Simmons had previously reported on Grantland:
Before the Big Three could make it past the trade deadline, Allen-to-the-Grizzlies had to fall apart and discussions on a deal that would have sent Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets for an expiring Mehmet Okur contract and a lottery pick never reached completion, league sources said.
I think it’s safe to say Ainge would have been hung out to dry for dealing his perennial All-Star (who was still playing terrific basketball by the way) for a expiring contract who wouldn’t play again this season and a potential top-10 pick.
That’s just my instinct though. What say you CelticsHubbers? Obviously now, it’s clear these deals weren’t good ones to make, but at the time would you have wanted Ainge to pull the trigger on these if he could have?