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Report: Celtics nearly traded Ray Allen, Paul Pierce at deadline

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  April 18, 2012 08:02 AM

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Things have been going well for the Celtics lately, Tuesday night aside, but a new report reveals just how close the current team was to being broken up.

League sources told Yahoo! Sports columnist Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics had separate deals to trade Ray Allen and Paul Pierce fall apart just before the trade deadline March 15.

According to the report, the Celtics were ready to send Allen to Memphis for guard O.J. Mayo and a draft pick. How close was the deal to happening? The sources tell Wojnarowski that the Celtics actually called Allen and told him he'd been traded. The deal eventually fell through.

The other trade the Celtics had working was a deal to send Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets for power forward Mehmet Okur's expiring contract and a lottery pick, according to the report. That deal would have given the Celtics two things: a top pick in a draft many feel is loaded, and relief from the next two years on Pierce's contract. It also would have made them substantially worse in the short term, and would have signaled that the team had given up on this season.

The Celtics have gone 21-9 since the All-Star break and are close to clinching the Atlantic Division title. They'll most likely be the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference in this year's playoffs.

What do you think? Do you wish the Celtics could have pulled the trigger? Are you happier with the team as constituted? Leave a comment.

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