The trade deadline passed two weeks ago, but the reports of alleged deals are still surfacing. Tonight, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the Celtics nearly shipped Paul Pierce to Dallas in a three-team deal that would have netted them Josh Smith:
Before the trade deadline passed, the Boston Celtics had one final choice to make on the franchise’s future: In a three-way deal that would’ve secured Josh Smith and surrendered Paul Pierce to Dallas, Atlanta wanted Boston’s first-round draft pick, too.
As much as any of the proposed deals discussed in February, perhaps this had been the closest Pierce had come to parting with the Celtics, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Dallas had constructed a package that included Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright and Dahntay Jones to Atlanta, with the Mavericks and Hawks exchanging positions in the 2013 NBA draft.
Nevertheless, Boston wouldn’t relent on the pick and the deal died on meeting-room grease boards in three cities.
I’ve often thought Josh Smith would excel under the tutelage of Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett, but I hadn’t entertained the idea of shipping out Paul Pierce for him.
At 27, Smith is a tantalizing talent. But how much is it going to cost to re-sign him next season? Max money? No, thanks. I have to assume Danny Ainge was aware of the number and was okay with it.
Watching Pierce carry the team with his superb all-around play since Rajon Rondo’s season ending knee injury has me thankful that Ainge didn’t pull the trigger on this deal. I’m sentimental, who knew?
Ainge’s decision to nix the deal over the draft pick (likely to be late teens, early 20s) shows the enhanced value of 1st-rounders in the new luxury tax penalty heavy CBA.