“Danny [Ainge] and I, we thought about it and we all have been thinking about it since all the injuries,” Rivers said. “With the last one with Barbosa, now we can’t look at one position anymore. That’s what we were looking at — looking at size first, then a guard. Now we’re looking at players. We need players. We need to pick up a couple of players as soon as we can get them. That’s what basically we’re doing.
“But we don’t want to do anything so quick that somebody else comes available and then we don’t have room because we’re at the cap threshold. We have to be very careful in what we do.”
Asked what kind of player would help most right away, Rivers said: “I would say a ball-handling guard. It’s no longer a point guard, it’s just a guard. If I had my perfect guard for this group right now, it would be a guard that can play multiple positions and that can shoot, that has some toughness.
“And then you need a big. You’re not going to find a center, so a 4. Obviously a 5 would be great, but a 4 that can stretch the floor. Or a 4 that can rebound, just a great rebounding 4 that has skills.
“That’s the list. There’s so many places to look. The China league ends in a week. So now some of the American players that are playing over there will begin coming back over to our league. The D-League. And then obviously through a trade. We don’t have a lot of assets to trade, so we have to be very careful there.”
Added Rivers: “We’re just looking for the best available player now. Obviously it would be great to have a shooter, one more shooter for us. Then we need a big that can rebound and defend.”
Rookie Fab Melo has had some dominating defensive performances in the D-League, but Rivers said he isn’t sure if the Syracuse product will be able to help the Celtics this season.
“I don’t think he’s ready yet,” Rivers said. “I can tell you he’s really working on it. I just don’t think he’s ready yet.”
One player under consideration for a roster spot is guard Delonte West , who has had two stints in Boston and was cut by the Mavericks this season after some issues in the locker room.
“Yeah, that’s something we’re looking at,” Rivers acknowledged. “I don’t know where we’re going to go with that. Again, we have to be so careful. One thing I love about Delonte is his toughness. But the other thing you don’t like is that he does get injured a lot. So you’re worried about that as well, beside the other stuff.”
Kevin Garnett  said this week that this will be his last All-Star Game, prompting speculation that might retire after the season.
“Kevin, I think every year is going to be year to year. And I really believe that,” Rivers said. “I think he loves the game too much and is playing too well to walk away. But I think during the season he’s like a lot of coaches at times who think about it. If you ask them during the middle of the season are they coming back, they would probably say, ‘I doubt it,’ because it’s such a grind — and especially for him. But I wouldn’t put too much into that.”