Ainge has limited options in terms of filling the need for a backup small forward. One option, according to Gary Washburn, is to cut Daniels and pick up someone else that has been cut (probably close to or after the trade deadline).
With a full roster, it's not that easy. Ainge likes Wafer. And If Daniels cannot return this season, the Celtics are likely to buy out his contract to create roster space.
Various players could become available as the deadline approaches: Sacramento’s Carl Landry, Washington’s Josh Howard (a player the Celtics have coveted), Cleveland’s Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker, Denver’s Arron Afflalo, Detroit’s Tracy McGrady and Chris Wilcox, the Clippers’ Rasual Butler and Craig Smith, former Milwaukee All-Star Michael Redd, and New York swingman Roger Mason.
That is quite the ala carte of names to pick from. Some more attractive than others. I don't think all of them will be released and/or bought out but some will and anyone bought out would likely want to play for the Celtics for the chance to be a contributor on a Championship contender.
Ainge might not have a lot of options, but one option I'd like for him to at least research is the old trade and re-sign routine that teams do every year (like the Cavs with Big Z last year). In theory, we could trade Marquis Daniels and a player like Avery Bradley or Luke Harangody to a team that is looking for a young player and an expiring deal. Then that team would immediately buy out Marquis. While Quis would be a free agent, he would have the (very attractive) option of re-signing with the Celtics after the prerequisite waiting period (when he'll be recuperating anyway).
Of course, it takes two to tango, but I think this option would be attractive to some teams. If you are the Wizards, would you rather buy out Josh Howard or trade him to the Celtics for Avery Bradley? The Celtics would consider it in order to get a step ahead of the buyout game and to give themselves the option of reactivating Quis for the playoffs. I felt like we needed more depth at the 3 even when Daniels was healthy, so the more the merrier.
On the other hand, depending on Howard's health, he might not be worth giving up on a guy like Bradley. So you could just take your chances on whatever buyout free agents become available and wish Marquis the best of luck.
Regardless, we know that Ainge is already working the phones and weighing his options. He may get creative or he may just try to be patient and see what develops.