So, this is kind of interesting. Tuesday morning Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears was on WEEI to discuss his co-written weekend report (with Adrian Wojnarowski) that the Celtics and Clippers were discussing a Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe/DeAndre Jordan deal. Spears was definitive in characterizing the Clippers as wanting to do the deal (“I know the Clippers want to do this”) and suggesting the Celtics were the holdouts.
For now, the Los Angeles Clippers have terminated talks with the Boston Celtics on a Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan trade, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Celtics have been eager to continue the conversation on the deal, but league sources said the talks will remain dormant unless Clippers star Chris Paul pushes the issue with management.
The Celtics won’t consider moving Garnett to the Clippers for any other combination of players, and won’t revisit the talks unless Bledsoe and Jordan are in the package, sources said.
So, what’s going on here? Which team did an about-face? Are the Clippers pursuing the rumored Bledsoe-Paul Millsap deal instead? It’s nearly impossible to parse the disinformation floating around out there so we’d just be speculating (and in a more pointless manner than usual). As always, the safest bet is that nothing will happen regardless of the preferences of the teams involved. It’s hard to make a deal even if you want it.
Still, take note of the first two words quoted above: For now. These are operative and talks, by definition, begin again the second either side picks up the phone. That could happen at any time. There also could be some negotiating going on through the media — perhaps a message to Chris Paul that if he wants to improve his team for a title run, it’s on him to press the issue. And Danny Ainge hasn’t been silent either. Between the two Y! reports, Ainge was quoted by the Globe’s Baxter Holmes in a fashion that suggested he was trying to extract better offers as the deadline neared:
“My first choice is always to try to win now, especially when you have unique players like KG and Paul,” Ainge said. “That’s always the best option. But the injuries have at least allowed me to ponder other possibilities. It’s still going to be tough to convince me that’s what we need to do.”
Translated, that last line means “I’m not giving these guys away for the current crappy offers. Improve them or you don’t get my future Hall-of-Famers.”
Even if you’re ready to storm the palace if Ainge deals Garnett and Pierce, this is an advisable way for him to conduct trade talks to maximize any potential return. Negotiate for a period of time, draw the line when you’re not seeing the offers you want and then wait for the sweetener as the deadline draws near.
Then detonate or don’t detonate as is appropriate.
Only 36 hours until the deadline. We’re heading into the home stretch.
Hang on tight.