Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
But when I asked Pierce if he wanted to end his career as a Celtic, there wasn't much passion in his response. It's probably a cautionary reflex that comes with being in the NBA long enough to see every possible scenario unfold.
"You ask anybody in the league who's been somewhere as long as I have, why wouldn't they [want to stay]?" Pierce said. "But at the end of the day I know it's a business. There's only so much I control.
"Shaq's been traded; everybody's been traded. I don't know if anything is in anybody's hands.
"I've heard it put out there that if Danny Ainge gets the opportunity, [a trade] can happen. So I'm not in a situation like Steve Nash where it's only if he requests it. That wasn't said to me. That's what it is."
J.A. Adande with a great column on Paul Pierce. Who knew he wrote about non-Lakers topics?
I've gone on record saying I support any deal that improves the future of the Celtics. That includes trading Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce.
But with the trade deadline approaching, I'm starting to get sentimental. Yes, I have a heart. Maybe it's because there are no obvious deals that would benefit the Celtics.
Maybe it's because I've watched Paul Pierce play basketball for the better part of my adult life. Memories of the near-fatal stabbing, the improbable 2002 playoff run, the silliness vs Indiana in 2005 and the 2008 championship running through my head.
Before you laugh in my face and make the obvious reference that the NBA is a cold-blooded business, check out Bill Simmons' latest column:
The truth is, the Celtics aren’t getting Dwight Howard or Deron Williams. Blowing things up for a pipe dream makes no sense, especially when the alternative is making this year’s team better (within reason) and hoping for one last memorable playoff run. The Celtics are what they are: old, proud, stubborn and (mostly) fun to watch simply because they know each other so well. They are going to fall in the first or second round of the playoffs, probably to Chicago in a look-at-how-the-roles-have-flipped bloodbath against the once-precocious Bulls in which they put up the biggest fight you can imagine. And lose. But still.
… Leave them alone and the 2012 Boston Celtics will go down swinging. That’s all we know, and frankly, that’s good enough for me.
I'm sentimental and I agree with Bill Simmons. Someone call me ambulance.
Related links: Herald – Pierce, Ray dealing with reality
On Page 2, the Celtics remain interested in Josh Howard.
The Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio, New York and Boston have shown recent interest in acquiring Jazz forward Josh Howard, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reported Tuesday.
HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy reported earlier Tuesday that Howard, in addition to Utah's C.J. Miles and Jamaal Tinsley, has been discussed as part of a three-team deal involving Minnesota and the Spurs.
A source close to Howard told The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday they were unaware of any trade involving the veteran small forward. Yahoo! reported the Jazz are reluctant to trade Howard, who has worked his way into Utah's starting lineup and is well-liked by his coaches and teammates.
Howard's been a free-agent steal for the Jazz, after signing a one-year deal with the team before the 2011-12 season. He recently told The Tribune he's open to signing an extension with Utah. But every strong game Howard plays for the Jazz — proving his return is legitimate, following two injury-plagued seaons — makes him more attractive to other teams looking to add a veteran asset for a playoff run.
Josh Howard is averaging about 9 points and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes. Why would Utah – a team only a few games out of the playoff race – dump him?
Even if Howard is on the way out, what do the Celtics have to offer? Forget Avery Bradley. Marquis Daniels, Sasha Pavlovic and Keyon Dooling have zero value. JaJuan Johnson? Utah has a ton of power forwards.
I don't see a fit.
Related links: Globe - Ainge weighing trade options
The rest of the links:
CSNNE – Celtics delighted as Stiemsma shows tough side | Blakely six pack | Herald – Stiemsma shows snarling side | Sunnier in California | ESPN Boston – For Cs, it's together or never | Warriors/Bucks swap should aid C's |