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Berger: Danny Ainge Listening to Offers for Paul Pierce

 

This tidbit was buried in Ken Berger’s latest column over at CBSSports.com, but in what will undoubtably be an active trade season for many veterans in the NBA over the next month plus, Paul Pierce may yet again find himself available for the right price:

Team executives involved in exploratory trade talks report that the Knicks (Amar’e Stoudemire), Lakers (Pau Gasol), Raptors (Bargnani) and Celtics (Paul Pierce) are open to discussing their high-profile names. In every case but one, the early indications are that none could be moved without a bad contract going back in return. (In Stoudemire’s case, his health and the $45 million left on his contract after this season almost certainly will prevent any deal from happening.) The lone exception, executives say, may be Pierce, whose ruthless scoring prowess and championship experience come with another attractive feature: only $4 million of his $15.3 million salary is guaranteed next season. With the Celtics playing better since Avery Bradley returned from injury, president Danny Ainge once again finds himself trying to determine whether the remnants of the 2007-08 championship team have enough to make one more run. Some rival executives believe the Celtics recently waived Jarvis Varnado and Kris Joseph to create roster flexibility for a potential trade. If Ainge decides to stand pat, a deal involving Pierce — which would mark the true end of the Big Three era — could be re-examined around the draft or during free agency.

A few notable things to take out of this report. 

1) Pierce is playing about just as well as ever. His contract situation makes him incredibly valuable to nearly any contender at this point. With that said, he’s just as valuable to the C’s right now. Lumping him in with the Gasols and Stoudemires of the world should not be done.

2) Pierce for Rudy Gay is not a good deal for the C’s. Gay is on a ugly contract and while he may do a lot of things better than Pierce, being a more efficient offensive weapons is not one of them.

3) I put the odds of Pierce getting dealt at less than five percent, especially if the C’s continue to round back into form. We know Ainge well enough by know to realize he’s always going to listen to offers. That’s his job. Chances are though he’s going to have to be bowled over with a player or (players) that improves the C’s chances of winning both right now and the future.

With that said, we’ll have many more thoughts on Pierce coming this weekend.

  • elroz

    And they would need not just a better player, but a better character, go to guy, defensive fit with the team…Pierce fits with this teams as well as anybody. This would seriously mess with their on court sand off court chemistry.
    Of course if some superstar is available…maybe.

  • skeeds

    well what do yo know, it's that time of year again already… And as every year, there's only one answer to the possibility of trading the captain.
    F#%K.
    THAT.

    Suuuuuure he's tradeable. For Kevin Durant, or LBJ. Maaaaybe Melo. Cause I really can't think of another SF I'd consider worth giving PP up for. Even without taking legacy, celtic pride and all that into consideration. Come on now, Rudy Gay?

    • http://sportsoracle.blog.com Celtics Oracle

      Amazing! Well said…what people don't realize is that this team is way better and deeper now then last years. It just took Avery, the missing part of the puzzle to return to form. Now we have the team from last year….and more!

      Paul Pierce still is the Commander. He just needed more consistency from the rest of the group. Now he will have it.

  • Switcharoo

    No!
    He’s the Captain,the Truth, the backbone. You trade him and it all falls apart; mark my words. I know trade season is trade season but why trade right now at all? This team is finally clicking and you think now is a good time to add pieces? Keep this team as is, they will only get better this season. If Pierce goes so goes the morale.
    I really hope that’s all a sick joke. Let him retire as a Celtic and hang his number!

  • zaitanz

    it's really a huge mistakes for ainge if they trade paul pierce in playoff time the truth will be the truth

  • http://twitter.com/salvaje50 @salvaje50

    This kind of trade would make sense if Pierce continues to play well but the Celtics keep on losing. if they start winning again like they are now then why trade him? Doesn't make any sense.

  • Morpheus

    Pierce is a Celtic for life. Danny trades him now, then you can say goodbye to any chance of winning another championship. Team chemistry would crumble to dust.

    • http://sportsoracle.blog.com Celtics Oracle

      Amen! Based on soem of the past trades I sometimes wonder if D.A. understands team chemistry….ahhhhemm. Kendrick Perkins!?

  • Morpheus

    Truth will be Truth come playoffs.

    • Ersatz

      Truth is already Truth. And way better at 35 than Rudy ever has been or ever will be.

  • Danny

    No need for a trade. The idea of a trade ideally is to make your team better than it was before an I don’t think that there’s anything we would possibly get back for pierce that makes us better. I say ride this out you have a decent core of young players with rondo Bradley and sullinger to build around in the future. I have a feeling we may be adding josh smith via free agency next year and who knows maybe Rudy gay in the future as well. No need to sell the house now.

  • jpbl1976

    I'm thinking that if there's talk, it's not coming from Ainge. I think it's Memphis floating a trial balloon to see if Danny would be stupid enough to bite or to create dissension among the Celtics' front office that could lead to calls being made.

    Memphis' offense has stalled since their hot start and someone like Pierce would be an antidote for them. Gay can put up similar scoring numbers as Pierce but he doesn't produce during the same moments nor is he the same offensive facilitator that Pierce is.

    Put it this way: if Pierce gets 10 assists in a game, it's just the Truth doing whatever it takes to win. Celtics fans would be happy but it's not something we haven't seen before. Now, of it's Gay who does it, it'd be considered a fluke and he might not ever be able to replicate that feat and it'd be a story on SportsCenter.

    Pierce 10x > Gay

    • Ersatz

      Yup. Not to be rude, but the statement that "there may be a lot of things Gay does better than Pierce" is simply ridiculous. There's not a single thing that Gay does better than Pierce. Even saying it rhetorically is blasphemy.

      • dslack

        He's better at being 6-foot 9. That's it.

  • noname

    doesnt he have a no trade clause being with the team his entire career?

    • jpbl1976

      As far as I'm aware only two guys have one these days: Kobe and Dirk.

      • jpbl1976

        Two more: KG and Tim Duncan.

        Pierce should have one. It's a travesty that he doesn't. I suspect a no-trade clause came up during Pierce's last contract negotiations but to get Boston to add that last, partially-guaranteed year, Pierce's camp had to concede on a no-trade clause.

        It's worth noting that the guys who have one are franchise cornerstones who are at the tail-end of their careers. 3 of the 4 have been with the same team since their rookie season.

        Notice that players such as Lebron, Durant and Chris Paul don't have no-trade clauses but of those 3, I suspect the first one who'll get one is Durant. I don't think Lebron's been loyal enough to deserve one — nor would Miami, with Pat Riley so keen of flexibility, probably like to grant him one. If there's a player on Miami who has an outside chance of getting one, it's probably Wade.

  • Just say No Danny

    If the Truth ever gets traded…I'll be the first to call for Ainge's job.

    And what a surprise the Lakers want to trade Gasol with his arthritic knees and his $19M contact – who doesn't fit in with their system. And that the Knicks would want to unload Amare with his terrible contract and his constant injuries, who doesn't fit in with their system.

    Pierce IS our system and there is no better player out there you could ever get that would replace what he brings to this squad.

    I love Rondo, but if any of the current big 3 where to go on the trading block I'd prefer it be him. He's an incredible talent, but unfortunately proving time and time again he just isn't ready to mature and be the future star of this franchise. Can you imagine when Pierce and KG retire and Rondo got hit with the constant pressure of having to be the man every night on what might be a losing team….he'd be a mini Demarcus Cousins. This team can win with another attacking point guard. They can't win without Pierce.

    I hope Ainge is smart enough NOT to make any trades.

  • emg

    Also Ainge should know that a trade of a key player is probably bad for Rondo's fragile psychology and therefore has predictably bad downstream effects. I think that goes for Rondo if Bradley was traded too.

  • yeah

    I love love love Rondo-Bradley-Pierce-Garnett. No moves please.

  • Rob

    Absolutely not!! If Ainge trades Pierce I will stop watching the Celtics and I consider myself a die-hard.

  • Anthony

    Years ago, I would've actually preferred to trade Pierce than Antoine but that's all in the past. Unless Pierce wants to be traded, he SHOULD/ MUST be a Celtics for life. I know NBA is a business but I wouldn't even trade him for Lebron or Durant. That's THE TRUTH.

  • check12check

    it would foolish to trade him. the fans would go nuts and he is carrying the team at times

  • Danny

    Even with the aging big 2 I still think the future for this team looks bright. We have a good young core right now that may be only missing a couple of pieces in years to come. Between Sully Bradley and Rondo that core in say 3-4 years could be very competitive on their own assuming KG and Pierce are both retired by then. Add in a solid wing scorer and/or and good big man and who knows. Maybe Melo will turn out to be that big man of the future. I think the future is bright for the Cs post KG and Pierce. No need for a panic trade.

  • KEN YOUNG

    I REALLY DON'T WANT TO TRADE EITHER, BUT PLEASE, DON'T TELL ME THAT PIERCE IS BETTER THAN DURANT OR LEBRON.
    RONDO IS THE GUY TO TRADE, YEA, HE IS FUN TO WATCH, HE IS FAST, BUT, HE IS 50% FROM THE FOUL LINE AND ALOT LESS THAN THAT ON HIS SHOOTING FROM THE FLOOR.
    I REALLY LIKE PIERCE, I ALSO HOPE HE DOESN'T BRAKE "HONDO'S" SCORING RECORD, AND PLEASE, DON'T TELL ME PIERCE IS BETTER THAN DURANT AND LEBRON — PLEASE!!!!

    • dslack

      Thank for shouting your opinion.

  • CRizikbleedinggreen

    This is nonsense, Pierce is not going anywhere, not with the C's starting to come together as a team. He's too valuable right now. Just think about what he did to the Hawks the other night with Rondo serving a one game suspension. Pierce is one of the best small forwards in the league handling the ball and finding open teammates. And his defense is above average too. I hate when writers refer to him as a scorer, forgetting all the right things he does every night just to win the game.

  • Miggy_Miggz

    Never. F**k Danny (Again w/ this BS btw) for even thinking that.

    That man MUST retire a Celtic

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