Update: via ESPN Boston - When Ainge was asked about the chances of the team making a deal:
“I think it’s 50-50, but it may be a small deal,” he said in an interview Thursday morning on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "It may be not as exciting as people may expect. But we’re working hard, we’ll work hard the rest of the day until 3’oclock.
What will Danny do? That's the question on every Celtics fans' mind today. Doc and Danny have sounded like a broken record recently, trying to dampen "blow up" rumors and lessen fans' expectations of major moves. But as Doc says, "you never know."
The team could just punt till the summer and start the rebuilding process then. They would like to get a big man, either by trade or by free agent pickup (they'd of course have to waive someone to make that happen, but Wilcox is out for the year and would be a buyout candidate).
Rumors have surrounded Rajon Rondo for weeks but Ainge has gone on record as saying that "we're not trading Rajon Rondo," which I roughly translate to "we couldn't find the value we were looking for so we're not trading him."
Ray Allen would be the "easiest" of the stars to move but he's also the kind of guy that could stick around and help for another couple of years after this if he agrees to a reasonable contract extension this summer. Besides, teams are balking at what Ainge is asking for him (a pick and a young player).
Paul Pierce's name has come up recently and he could help a lot of teams, but ironically enough his contract is a turn off for some teams. That suits me just fine as I'd like to see the Captain retire in Celtics green.
Update from Steve Bulpett:
Two sources say also that Paul Pierce [stats] is drawing interest from clubs and that the Celts are very much open to the discussions. Pierce is on the books for nearly $16.8 million next season and he has some partial guarantees for 2013-14, so it might seem good for them to get out from under that commitment. But the Celtics still see Pierce as a top-rate numbers producer, and they’d have to get back something important. Even if next season winds up being just a transition year, they’d like it to be a smooth one. As of yet, however, no one’s been willing to come through on the asking price. They may be able to surrender a player who could be developed, but clubs are getting protective of their draft picks.
Kevin Garnett has such a large contract ($21M) that finding a trading partner without bringing back unwanted salaries would be difficult at best.
So I expect the Celtics will try to make a minor move or two and perhaps wait and see what shakes out after the deadline in terms of buyout guys. Will that be enough to compete this year? That remains to be seen.