Atlantic Notes: Okafor, Marks, Frazier

The Celtics came close to pulling off a significant trade involving the Nets‘ 2016 first round pick prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, but the other team pulled out at the last minute, team executive Danny Ainge relayed in a radio appearance on the “Toucher & Rich” show (h/t Dan Feldman of “We were very close,” Ainge said. “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.

Though Ainge declined to name both the player and the team he was referring to in the radio spot, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald hears that the talks centered around Sixers rookie center Jahlil Okafor. While fans of both Boston and Philadelphia are left to ponder what might have been if that trade had been consummated, here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • New GM Sean Marks‘ contract with the Nets is a four-year deal that will pay him in excess of $9MM over that span, Mike Mazzeo of reports (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks considered signing point guard Tim Frazier, whom the Blazers waived Thursday, but New York instead decided on D-League shooting guard Jimmer Fredette, whom they plan to ink to a 10-day deal, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal relays (via Twitter).
  • The Sixers parted ways with JaKarr Sampson on Thursday, but the second-year player had all good things to say about his former team despite being waived, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes, having earlier reported that the Sixers want to re-sign him if he clears waivers. “I don’t have anything negative to say about Philly,” Sampson said. “I feel like a lot of people in my situation might have something negative to say about Philly, like a ‘why-me’ type of thing. But I don’t have anything negative to say about the organization. I love those guys. They showed me a lot of love since I’ve been there. The fan base and everything … are great people. Even though we were losing, they still showed us love because we played hard.”
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