Report: Celtics' coaching staff was open to acquiring Melo at deadline

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

The Boston Celtics' coaching staff was in favor of trading for Carmelo Anthony before February's NBA trade deadline, but franchise president Danny Ainge was against the idea, sources told the New York Post's Marc Berman.

Berman doesn't identify which members of the staff backed the trade, or specify whether head coach Brad Stevens was among them. A report surfaced in January indicating the Celtics had no interest in dealing for Anthony, despite engaging in "exploratory" talks about the 10-time All-Star during the 2015-16 season.

The story will receive oxygen from the fact that Boston is currently down 2-0 in its first-round series to the Chicago Bulls. Given those circumstances, a large segment of the Celtics' fan base has been critical of Ainge's stand-pat approach at the trade deadline, especially given the organization's wealth of draft assets. If the team can't mount a comeback, Boston will become only the sixth No. 1 seed in history to be knocked out in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

One of Ainge's reported issues with acquiring Anthony, who turns 33 next month, was the salary cap space his contract would take up as the Celtics make a run at free agents such as Gordon Hayward this summer. Boston also has a 25 percent chance - the best of all teams - at landing the No. 1 pick in June's draft, thanks to the Brooklyn Nets.

With Knicks president Phil Jackson publicly stating last week that Anthony will "be better off somewhere else," it's a near-certainty that the franchise player will be moved this summer. In the meantime, New York tabloids are hammering the star over lurid reports regarding his personal life.