Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/19/13
For the Celtics fans nervously counting down the minutes until the NBA trade deadline, holding out hope that Paul Pierce and friends remain in Boston for the rest of this season, there’s hope. With time running out, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge says the chances of a deal are small, Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe reports. Ainge said its unlikely that the Celtics will get a deal done before the trade deadline.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) February 19, 2013 While the Celtics appeared to be prime trade candidates after point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a torn ACL and forward Jared Sullinger was sidelined for the rest of the season after back surgery, Boston has won eight of its last nine games, and support for keeping the current group together has grown. Ainge could still make a move to bolster the current lineup, but the chances of him trading key players have diminished. The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. Click here to read about the Celtics’ interest in Josh Smith>>

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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