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Rumor: Paul Pierce trade could lead Celtics to Josh Smith

Chuck - Red's Army June 25, 2013 Celtics News, Paul Pierce 31 Comments

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Sean Devaney of The Sporting News says the Celtics will set their sights on Josh Smith if they can move Paul Pierce without taking on any additional salary:

As for the rebuilding sure to follow the dismantling, that is contingent on what happens with Pierce. If the Celtics can unload Pierce to a team with enough cap space to absorb his salary, they will get a trade exception worth Pierce’s salary, or $15.3 million. And if that happens, the plan is already in place. According to a source, the Celtics have a sign-and-trade offer ready for Atlanta forward Josh Smith that would be the top priority in free agency.

Smith has long been connected to Boston in trade rumors, including one that would have sent Pierce to Atlanta in February. His link to the current Celtics dates back to high school, when he played with point guard Rajon Rondo at Oak Hill.

Cleveland and Milwaukee are two teams with cap space and alleged interest in Paul Pierce.

But according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Celtics aren’t going dump Pierce in either of those locales:

The Celtics do remain hopeful of acquiring a first-round pick for Pierce this week in conjunction with Thursday’s draft. But sources said the Celtics have shown an inclination to try to work with Pierce to get him to a favorable destination — which essentially translates to a contending team — if they indeed decide to trade him by week’s end. The team faces a June 30 deadline to either pick up Pierce’s $15.3 million option for next season or buy him out for $5 million.

If no such deal materializes, sources said, Boston is leaning toward picking up Pierce’s option to buy more time to decide how to handle the exit of such a prominent player in modern Celtics history. Despite persistent speculation that the Celtics might buy Pierce out this week, sources say team officials believe Pierce would have trade appeal all the way up to the 2014 trade deadline in February and likewise privately hope that Pierce’s ongoing presence on the roster would warm Kevin Garnett to the idea of playing on with Boston as opposed to retiring or forcing his way out, even though coach Doc Rivers has departed to join the Clippers.

Would Danny Ainge bypass a deal with Cleveland that could net him a $15 million trade exception and max contract player out of respect for Paul Pierce and his status in Celtics lore?

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  • Double P

    No room for love in this business, pierce is going to get paid $15mil next season.. And the celts have made him very wealthy. If you can turn 36 yr old pierce into josh smith? Done.

    • LA Flake

      yeah but josh smith for 15 million bucks a year? for 4-5 years? what has he proven? pierce took a very bad celtics team to the ECF in his early 20s. josh smith is in his late 20s now. what has he done?

      • WardenOfTheNorth

        it’s apples and oranges. smith is an athletic big who can shoot. pierce struggles to create his own shot. this is a no-brainer, if the C’s can get josh smith. what pierce did 12 years ago is irrelevant. however, if danny can somehow get a Top 15 pick for Pierce, that’s the move.

      • Double P

        Pierce had a decent cast and went to the ECF when the eastern conference was so horrible there was barely any competition. Josh Smith has actually shown in the playoffs he picks his game up and the hawks are at least always in the playoffs and competing but not with the likes of our big 3 or the heat the hawks aren’t going to the ECF… This deal is a NO brainer. You can lock up a good YOUNG player who will help us keep Rondo when he is a free agent in 2 years

      • Fitzy

        how do you know he’s signing for 15, maybe rondo convinces him to take less. I think he begged for a max cause he wanted out of atlanta. but that’s just my opinion.

  • tvor03

    What about Houston? They’re trying to persuade Dwight to come there. But if they can’t get him, would they be willing to take on Pierce for a year, staying competitive, and leave themselves open for the bigger FA market next year?

    • ShawnCVD

      Houston would be a great landing point for PP . Boston would need a pick…

  • wil

    its too good to work out without any wrinkles, but GET IT DONE!

  • Joanne Tran

    J-Smoove, Rondo, Green, Bradley, and Sully.

  • MrCuret

    I’d rather the Celtics trade for Al Jefferson instead of Smith if they can somehow get that trade exception. They already have Sullinger (who has the potential to be a very good player in the league) & Bass coming from the bench (unless they’re planning on trading him). Not only that but with Jefferson they’d finally fill the hole at the center position.

    • Howard Bridges

      good, but is al the answer?

  • jason benn

    bass is a joke he whines constantly and then when he had a chance to show his stuff he was a bigger joke he looked nice in a contract year and then has done nothing since josh smith is definetly an upgrade from bass and the chemistry him and rondo have you cant beat high school teammates playing in the nba together rondo would be able to handle j smoove and likewise

    • Howard Bridges

      bass is no joke.

  • Roy Sanchez

    All is fair in love and basketball…

  • pierce Hart

    Rondo smith and green would be a great core. You could create space to add a centre that’s athletic like Drummond (I wish) and you have a team that’s so athletic and talented. Plus Bradley could sign I guess. You have a real competitor there. My only concern is we’d lose sully :(

    • LA Flake

      smith can’t shoot. rondo can’t shoot. we could be good fast breaking team but in the playoffs, we’d score 70 points if we’re lucky.

      • pierce Hart

        Fair point but you could play inside and slash but if Bradley developed a consistent jumper you’d have a really good team at getting to the basket and in the paint

  • MatthewWilding

    Also, who are we trading for Smith?

  • Double P

    Look at your description of Josh Smith, and then you go on to say we should sign Andray Blatche….. hahaha literally everything you complain about with Josh Smith is Andray Blatche in a nutshell..

    and Josh Smith is better than Al Jefferson, Andray Blatche, or OJ Mayo

    • KGino

      better than big al is highly debatable

      • celtics

        Al Jefferson is a one-way player, Josh Smith is not.

  • Corey

    I just don’t understand the obsession between the Celtics and Josh Smith? I think Smith is a fine player, but he’s not game change material. In my opinion Josh Smith is a misguided talent, and the only reason he’s linked to the C’s, because he’s friends w/Rondo. Smh.

    • Howard Bridges

      he was also a draft pick of the celts a few years ago, a mistake that got away.ainge is smart.see what he does first.

  • I bleed green in L.A.

    This needs to happen. Getting a first round pick and Smith for Pierce??? Plus our 1st pick this year, that’s a nice quick rebuild right there. Move KG for DeAndre and a pick (or Bledsoe or lose Terry/Bass contract), and we are now an exciting YOUNG team. Not exactly championship caliber, but very up tempo and fun to watch. Rondo, Bradley, Green, Smith and DeAndre would probably be the best fast break team in the NBA.
    George Karl can coach young fast break teams…

    • frickenWaaaltah

      KG for Deandre this year is now impossible. NBA said no Celtics-Clippers trades until 2014-2015. Anything less could reasonably be considered them completing a secret part of the previous improper negotiations, even if it really wasn’t.

  • frickenWaaaltah

    This is a deal BOSTON wants to do, not a deal the Hawks are committed to doing.

    No way are the Hawks going to jump on a deal with Boston for Josh. The reasons for them to do it are too marginal and it’d help Boston a lot. It’d be more like an option of last resort for them.

    They will try to get Josh to go out west.

  • Lee in Oregon

    I’ve wanted Smith in Boston for years. I’d love to be a fly on the wall of DA’s office……

  • mike michigan

    I can’t believe nobody realizes what Ainge is doing. It’s almost genius if he pulls it off. Back in 07 Celtics had a few young assets that we turned into KG and Ray Allen. Namely the #5 pick (Jeff Green), and Al Jefferson. Ainge was able to get Green back, and now this offseason he has a chance to get Big Al back. Think about it Ainge wanted these guys to rebuild with back than. He flipped them for Vets and got a banner. Now he has an oppurtunity to get the players he coveted back when they’re in their prime. He would have completely skipped the growing pains, rebuild and still got the team he wanted to build upon.

    • Howard Bridges

      yep

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