A Celtics Clippers trade that died in waiting may point to a new direction for Boston.
The teams tried for days to orchestrate a swap to send Kevin Garnet and Paul Pierce to Los Angeles. Rumors said the teams had discussed this trade more than a week ago, but Pierce was dropped from the equation and then Garnett in order to put through a deal sending coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers.
The NBA forbids coaches from being traded, and commissioner David Stern said he would veto a Celtics Clippers trade that appeared to circumvent the collective bargaining agreement. A two-part trade — sending Garnett to the Clippers for center DeAndre Jordan and giving the Clippers draft picks in exchange for the release of Rivers — was seen as a violation.
So the Celtics and Clippers took the players out of the equation, finishing a swap sending a first-round draft pick to the Celtics for Rivers’ release.
Though the other part of the Celtics Clippers trade never materialized, it did show a willingness on the part of the Celtics to get rid of two of their oldest stars. Both Pierce and Garnett have been important parts of the team, pivotal in their run to the 2008 NBA championship, but now seem expendable.
Though Kevin Garnett had toyed with the idea of retirement last year, Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted there’s a growing sentiment that Garnett has one more year in the tank. And now that the Celtics have shown a willingness to deal him and build around some of their younger stars, it’s likely his last year won’t be in Boston.
Paul Pierce also has strong interest in the trade market, the Boston Globe‘s Baxter Holmes reported. It’s been reported that the Celtics are looking for a first-round pick for Pierce, giving them a second to go along with the one they got for Rivers and setting up a bright future.So while the Celtics Clippers trade never came to be, the course it set could have the Boston Celtics moving toward a future without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.