For those thinking Kevin Garnett might be suiting up for the Clippers this season, that ship has sailed. Quietly.

The NBA trade deadline passed Thursday with no action by the Clippers, who returned to Staples Center intact and ready to start their push to the playoffs over the final 26 games.

Coach Vinny Del Negro had a simple explanation for the Clippers not being involved in any deals, blockbuster or otherwise.

"Because there was no trade to be made. There was nothing there," Del Negro said before the Clippers tipped off against San Antonio. "There were all these reports and all these talks and everything else. There's things out there that you can't even do under the collective bargaining (agreement) that aren't even accurate. We're always looking, like any organization, to make our team as strong as possible.

"We're very comfortable, I'm excited about our opportunity."

When the Clippers left off, they were showing off their full roster for the first time all season, with Chauncey Billups fully in the fold, Grant Hill ready to contribute consistently off the bench and, of course, Chris Paul's bruised knee a thing of the past as he displayed in Sunday's All-Star Game.

So the Clippers that entered Thursday as the third-best team in the West is the group that has Del Negro curious to see what heights it can reach.