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Danny Ainge Wants Paul Pierce to Retire As Celtic, But Won’t Rule Out Trading Him

Danny Ainge joined The Big Show in studio today on WEEI-FM for an extended in-studio interview. Much of the early conversation was focused on Rajon Rondo’s impact, his personality and how much of a effect he has on this team. As the discussion progressed though, important trade questions came to the forefront of the conversations, as Ainge explained how he plans to proceed heading into the trade deadline next month. A sampling of his more revealing answers.

On whether the team will make moves next month: “I think whether we win every game or whether we struggle, I think it all depends on what opportunties are presented, so we are open and listening and are having discussions regarding a lot of different possibilities, but we don’t feel pressure to do anything. We want to make some change to help improve our team, but we don’t feel pressure.”

Has he had any discussions with Paul Pierce about being traded? “No, because nothing has been talked about with Paul or discussed. Nothing is close to being done. I too, would like to see Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic. That would be great. We are all attached to Paul. He’s been great for the city, the franchise, each of us individually, he’s been a true pro. Having said that, if something came up I would talk to Paul, but my job is do what’s best for the Boston fans, and what’s best for the Boston Celtic team, regardless of my personal ties and personal relationships with players.”

On whether he thinks any deals will be made: “Deals are just hard to do. People are getting smart in this business and are doing deals that are mutually beneficial to both teams. They’re just challenging.”

On trade talks with Memphis: “Memphis with new management has been pretty active. We’ve had discussions but nothing that ever got close. It’s been well documented what they were trying to accomplish, to get under the tax and get for Rudy. They got some good players though, and time will tell.”

  • High Rollers

    I think the chance of P being traded is about .002%. Maybe even less.

    More on RR: DA knows the value and truth of 9…


  • Phil725

    I don't think any (major) deal will happen before the deadline. I actually think that Rondo, pre-injury, had a much higher chance to be moved than Pierce. Pierce has value around the league, but I don't think that fair value is enough for Ainge to part with him. People have mentioned that Danny's not one to let sentimentality affect his decision making… well how about job security?

    Dealing Pierce for his value (which I look at as a mid-lottery talent or a worse asset plus unloading a bad contract,) destroys this team for the next two years. The team has no cap space for anything but the MLE even without Pierce's salary, and without him, they don't make the playoffs. Is Ainge confident enough in his job security that he would risk dealing someone the fans/ownership love 'and' languishing in the late lottery for 2-3 years with no real direction? I don't see it.

  • Celtics#18

    Seriously I miss Rondo BUT yes there is a but…TRADE HIM. Ummm hello!!!! He has peaked as a player. He may lose some of his speed and athleticism. Sacramento is likely moving the team to Seattle. They could use a star like Rondo. Send Rondo, Melo, and Sully to the Kings for Cousins and Evans. Sully is showing signs already the back issue might be an issue. Melo will never have the skills Cousins has. I was at the game last night and Cousins is a great player. Every time he caught the ball he looked to make a pass or take a shot. He was constantly frustrated by Kings players not cutting or running the plays. Evans has declined year after year in terms of stats but he will be a free agent with no long term commitment. I think the Celtics have looked great as a team without Rondo. I think they will look even better adding two talented young players. Cousins could develop into a top 5 player in the league under Garnett. Between Cousins, Bass, Garnett, Lee, Bradley, Evans, Barbosa, Pierce, Green, and Terry I think the Cs would have the deepest and most talented team in the league.

    Bring on the hate mail…Its a great idea if you think about it.

    • celtsfan#18

      horrible idea first off all sacramento doesn't want rondo anymore hes hurt and out until probably feb 2014 and that trade would never happen horrible for both teams. celtics get evans whos a restricted free at seasons end and he and paul on the same team? thats awful cousins wont get traded and he wont be happy if he does. and your wrong sully is a promising young big man and he bradley and rondo are the future of the boston celtics

      • Celtics#18

        I dont see how Evans and Pierce on the same team is a bad thing. Another guy who can spell pierce so he is fresh for the playoffs and another guy who can slash to the hoop. yup…awful

      • KillerGymRat

        Did you happen to notice Sacramento has only won 17 games? There's a reason why. Their two best players are Cousins and Evans.

    • Phil725

      Where does the Kings having no interest in dealing Cousins fit into this plan? I'm actually in favor of a deal centered around Rondo for Cousins, but I don't think either side would make that deal right now. The Kings are going through an ownership change and are in complete flux/can't take on money, and from the Cs perspective, Rondo's value will never be lower. It's better to just hold onto him over the summer and wait to show he can play next year before maybe moving him then.

      Also, no thanks on trading for Evans. I'd take him on a flyer contract (like what OJ Mayo got this year,) but I wouldn't give anything up for him. He's a wing who can't shoot who has had injury issues. There's value in getting anyone out of Sacramento (I'm convinced that situation makes everyone there look worse than they are,) but I don't see much appeal in a ball dominating wing who can't shoot, stay on the floor or play defense, even if he does get a little better.

  • James Patrick

    Ainge should be a politician. lol

  • W2.

    I would trade Rondo for Cousins in a heartbeat. And so would Danny. But why on earth would Sactown make that trade? Point guards are everywhere. A good big, who can pass, defend, shoot, is hard to find.

  • Kansachusetts

    Cousins is a head case and he was mediocre in the recent game in Boston. Why in the world would you trade Rondo for him?

    I am not opposed to trading Rondo, as much as I love him, partly because he has some weaknesses that he doesn't seem to care about fixing, and partly because he's the only valuable chip they've got to play with. But that chip seems to be off the table for a while, due to injury.

    • Phil725

      Judging anyone by one game is flawed way to look at it. Why would a Kings fan want to trade Cousins for Rondo when the one time they saw him this year Isaiah Thomas torched and outplayed him all night?

      Trading for Cousins is a risk because of the head case-ness, but you have to assume that getting him out of Sacramento (and into a place like here with Doc/KG,) will help. He's still one of the most impactful big men in the league in his current state, and he's very young. It's near impossible to land talented big guys like that. You either need to draft one high in the lottery, or take one on who has problems that you think you can fix. Point guards are much easier to find than centers.

  • Josh_5

    Speaking of the captain, if you guys wanna see something suprising, check this out:

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