With less than 30 hours remaining until Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, trade chatter involving the Boston Celtics has been turned up a notch.
News that the Atlanta Hawks are “definitely” trying to move Smith this week surely brought a smile upon the faces of the Celtics’ brass. It’s been no secret that the 27-year-old forward has been a long-time target of the team.
But while the Smith to Boston rumor isn’t anything new, the inclusion of Paul Pierce to any such deal certainly is.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, a deal for Smith isn’t possible without No. 34:
NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Monday that the Boston Celtics have, indeed, registered their interest on the Smith front, with the caveat that they also remain highly interested in the Clippers’ Eric Bledsoe.
Yet a Boston deal for Smith, sources said, would almost certainly have to be built around Paul Pierce, because Kevin Garnett isn’t waiving his no-trade clause to go to the Atlanta Hawks if he’s not willing to waive it to go to Clipperland. And the prospect of Celtics front-office chief Danny Ainge exiling Pierce to the Hawks for Smith, after everything Pierce has done to restore the Celtics to glory over the past half-decade, is still hard to imagine.
At least for me.
That throws a wrench into the Celtics’ earlier plans, which had them reportedly looking into exchanging Brandon Bass and Jeff Green for Smith. (via Racine Journal Time’s Gary Woelfel)
However, that rumor never quite made much sense in the first place.
Would Green really be enough to bring in Smith? Why would Boston trade more players than they were receiving? Didn’t the team realize it only had 10 healthy players—not including Terrence Williams—on their roster?
Whatever the case, it comes down to two options for the Celtics: Either trade Pierce or find a third team to make a deal work.
If… and that’s a GIGANTIC if… the Celtics move Pierce, KG might be persuaded to waive his no-trade for the Clippers.
However, Stein says the team is not willing to give the Celtics both Bledsoe and Jordan in return for Garnett. The source believes it would be too much to give up two players under 25 for the 36-year-old big man.
Losing both Pierce and Garnett would be a monumental shift in the culture around Boston. It would also mark the definite close of the Big Three era.
Is GM Danny Ainge jumping the gun? Or is this the right time to pull the trigger?
We’ll find out very soon.