Report: Celtics targeted Okafor in blockbuster trade involving Sixers

The NBA trade deadline was relatively uneventful, though one team admitted a near blockbuster deal.

The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets were working on a blockbuster trade that had legs all the way up until the deadline but ultimately fell through.

The deal would have involved the Nets first round pick this season. But an unidentified "other team" backed out of the deal that put any trade on hold until the offseason.

The Sixers, and more specifically Jahlil Okafor, were apparently a part of those discussions.

Danny Ainge, GM of the Celtics, went on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston to discuss the trade and shed essentially as much light as any GM can on the trade talks.

We were very close. One story I can probably share with you is — I can’t tell you the team or the name — but it was very close. It was something we had been deliberating on for two days straight. The other team was doing that. And we were wrapping ourselves around a big package to do a deal. And at the very last minute, they just said they did not want to do it. They just backed out. So, it was a deal that was talked about, thought about. And that was probably the closest that we came.

We were willing to do one deal, and it just didn’t happen. Both teams weren’t ready to go. And it was a really, tough close deal. And it was certainly not a no-brainer. There was risk on both sides’ part. But at the end of the day, both teams were not ready to do it."

That "name" was supposedly Okafor, at least according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

Whether talks ended with Sam Hinkie just declining to make a move or having been influenced by Jerry Colangelo is not known. Hinkie made no mention of any potential deal at his press conference on Friday, the day after the deadline came and went.

Okafor is having a solid rookie season, averaging 17.1 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game in 48 games.

Kevin Durso is editorial assistant for Sixerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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