Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
A couple of years ago, Danny Ainge was close to signing David West as a free agent. Instead he got a little more money to play for the Pacers. Last year, Danny Ainge had a deal to send Ray Allen to Memphis in exchange for OJ Mayo that fell apart at the last minute (after Ray had already been informed that he was likely traded).
These things have a butterfly effect, so there's no telling what would have happened as a result of those deals, but can you imagine a team right now with Rondo, Mayo, Pierce, West, and KG as the starters?
Much was made of the fact that Mayo reportedly said "I don't care about banners," but Mayo now says it would have been an honor to play with the Celtics. Interestingly, he also sheds a little more light on why the deal didn't happen.
Instead, Mayo blamed the deal’s failure on an internal debate between C’s players and the front office over Allen’s future. "I was pretty much set to come here and something fell through at the very last second," said Mayo, who collected 24 points (10-19 FG), six rebounds, three assists and two steals in Wednesday night’s loss to the Celtics. "A couple of the guys wanted to keep Ray, and management wanted to make the trade.
So the players may have swayed management to hang onto Ray Allen. One account from Pierce was that he and Allen both thought they were headed out of town and were laughing about it in the hotel room. I kind of doubt Rajon Rondo was making calls on Ray's behalf. So maybe that leaves Kevin Garnett, who doesn't normally seem like a guy that gets too involved with GM dealings. Then again, maybe if he did campaign for Ray, that could be a reason why KG lost/threw away Ray's number this summer.
Anyway, I'm still glad that the trade didn't go down. Even though we came up short last year, that run down the stretch and through the first few rounds of the playoffs was well worth it. Mayo would have been a nice piece, but Courtney Lee isn't a terrible consolation prize in the long run. David West however....