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Danny Ainge on Big Show: Not trading Pierce and Garnett ‘by far the most likely thing’

02.08.13 at 2:23 am ET

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, in his weekly appearance on The Big Show, said that he considers it unlikely that he will deal either Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce prior to the NBA trading deadline. Ainge said that stance reflected in part on the fact that the age of the two players likely has made them more valuable in the eyes of the Celtics than they would be with another team.

“I think by far it’€™s the most likely thing,” Ainge said when asked if keeping both players was an outcome that he expected. “Because I’€™ve been doing this for 10 years, with this group of guys for the last couple years, I don’€™t see that much changing. There aren’€™t a lot of times that are trying to pursue players of KG’€™s and Paul’€™s age. We value them more than other teams.

“There are so many teams that are trying to get younger. There are so many teams that are trying to rebuild. There are so many teams that are trying to get higher draft picks already. I just think that where we value them as players is just greater than the rest of the league, which I think is common for players that age.”

Ainge did say that he he would have direct conversastions with either Pierce or Garnett if he entertained the idea of trading them — in part because their contracts give them leverage to limit deals.

“First of all, Paul has been here his whole career and he’€™s a franchise player, plus he has what’€™s called a trade kicker in his contract, where he would get an increased amount of pay,” he said. “KG has a no-trade clause in his contract. He can veto any trade anyway, so of course we’€™d talk to him.”

More highlights are below. To listen to the complete interview, click here.

On how the Celtics will approach the trade deadline: “Let’€™s see how our team plays over the next little while up to the trade deadline, too, but I don’€™t think we’€™ve had a true test of what we are yet.”

On whether Jared Sullinger and Rajon Rondo will be ready for training camp next season following their surgeries: “Yes. And I think it’€™s not a stretch or a rush. In Sullinger’€™s case, I think that will be plenty of time to get back. In Rondo’€™s case, I think it is as well. His injury is fairly clean.”

On the team’s 6-0 run with Rajon Rondo sidelined: “I think Rondo is just one of those players that people give him a lot of the credit ‘€“ sort of like the quarterback in football ‘€“ they get all the credit, they take a lot of blame when things aren’€™t going right. … Right now, I think the most positive thing is we are starting to see how good the rest of the players are.”

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