BY TIM REYNOLDS – AP BASKETBALL WRITER
MIAMI (AP) — Ricky Rubio was trying desperately to take his own advice. Minnesota’s point guard told anyone who would listen to him not to worry about the trade deadline, or fret about what moves might be coming.
Practicing what he preached was a little difficult.
"Until it doesn’t go down," Rubio said, "you don’t believe it."
In his case, nothing went down Thursday – and that brought a clear sense of relief. Trade deadline day came and went with only seven deals involving 14 players, the smallest number of players affected since only four got moved on the big day in 2007. Rubio was one of many linked to various moves in the days leading up to the deadline, though nothing wound up happening in most of the high-profile cases.
"It was, like, boring," said Miami President Pat Riley, whose team looked and listened but made no deals.
Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose all stayed with their various teams. Cleveland, Golden State, San Antonio and Boston – the top two teams in each conference – didn’t make any last-minute trades either, though the Cavaliers are likely to add Deron Williams once he clears waivers in the coming days.
The day wasn’t much ado about nothing. But it came close.
"Like we always say, a lot of times very little happens at the deadline," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said before New York opened the post-All-Star schedule with a loss in Cleveland. "Now that it’s over, guys can just go out and play."
That’s what they’re hoping in Indiana, Chicago and other points around the league as well.
George and Butler were believed to be under serious trade consideration – with Boston linked to both players, the thinking there being that either could seriously enhance the Celtics’ chances of challenging Cleveland for Eastern Conference honors.
But the Pacers kept George, Butler stayed with the Bulls, and both have games awaiting Friday.
"You know, it’s kind of a dark moment of uncertainty," said George, who didn’t know what was really going on regarding any trade talks the Pacers were or weren’t having. "That was the frustrating part. You want me to be your guy here, I thought I’d have been in the loop a little more on that."
It’s been a trying season for Anthony: The Knicks are struggling, some cryptic tweets from Phil Jackson created headlines, and the situation between Madison Square Garden chairman and former Knicks star Charles Oakley – who was dragged from the arena, arrested and briefly banned – created headaches.
So that led to talk that Anthony might waive his no-trade clause and look to begin anew elsewhere. It didn’t happen.
"I’m at peace. I’ve been at peace," a smiling Anthony said Thursday night. "I’m happy I won’t be talking about trades or any of this stuff the rest of the season."
The most prevalent rumor on the Rubio front involved a swap for Rose, who played for Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau for years in Chicago.
Rose never heard anything from the Knicks or his agent about the prospects of a move, so he figured nothing would happen. Turns out, he was correct.
"I’m happy that it’s over," Rose said. "This is the first time I’ve been through this."
It wasn’t the first time Rubio has been through this. That didn’t seem to make things any easier, and Rubio knows that it’s likely his name will be in trade talks again before long – probably when the draft rolls around in about four months.
"There’s people who decide where you’re going to play," Rubio said. "You can’t control that."