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C’s-Clippers end Garnett talks (for now)


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.

Then about 12 hours later came this update from Wojnarowski, suggesting it was actually the Celtics that were ready to move on the deal and L.A. had cooled on it:

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.

  • Phil725

    The rumors I've read about LAC is that top ownership doesn't want to give up Bledsoe and Jordan for KG, while VDN and his group does. The organizational split could explain the differing source reports. Not sure where the Celtics inconsistency may come in, other than the fact that I assume sources all lie through their teeth, intentionally or not. If push comes to shove (which it won't since KG won't waive his no-trade,) I'd expect LAC to offer up those two, even if it takes CP3 forcing their hands with an ultimatum.

    Also, the latest rumors about how the Cs would like to pair a KG trade for Bledsoe/Jordan with a Pierce deal for Josh Smith have to make absolutely no one happy, right? Not only does it antagonize the 'keep this group together' crowd, it's also a big slap in the face to those of us who'd also like to rebuild. A 50m core of Rondo/Green/Smith/Jordan would be laughable to say the least. It's all of the mediocre talent that the Cs have right now, just without the elite defense brought by KG and the elite glue guy stuff from PP. If there's one thing that could ensure future NBA hell more than not doing anything, it's paying Jordan and Smith 125m over the next five years. COUNT DA ALLEY OOPS! at least :P

    • tbunny

      Absolutely. That's just another mediocre team with a bunch of massively overpaid guys. This trade is shit. Just stop.

  • skeeds

    So basically what this report means is nothing at all. For all we know, the Clips might be getting the word out that they're ending the talks so that Ainge breaks and accepts a lesser offer, or it could be the opposite, Ainge supposedly pulled the plug to force the Clips to up their offer. Or the talks could be actually over.

    My gut feeling is that Ainge won't trade KG or PP in the end. There's no huge price out there to go after. And giving up 2 future HOF's (that are currently carrying the team), for Josh Smith or DeAndre Jordan, is just stupid. Ainge made it pretty clear that if he's gonna blow it up, he's gonna go nuclear. That means either bringing a superstar to town, or a nice fat package of young hot shots. (like 3-4 of those Denver studs). In the long run, even if deep rebuilding is his plan, why would Ainge commit to any of those guys, instead of hitting the market hard in 1-2 years with PP and KG coming off the books, targeting a guy like Kevin Love or Blake Griffin?

  • someguyinsac

    I hate the part of the season when the rumor grist mill works at warp speed.

  • Phil725

    Just in case anyone believed Ainge that talks were going to cool…

    Chris_Broussard Chris Broussard
    Rival GMs insist Rondo's available. Could they pry Josh away from ATL w/out giving up Pierce or KG? Jeff Green would be good fit in ATL
    7 minutes ago

    Welcome back to trade rumors, Rajon!

  • Anthony

    My source said Josh Smith for Bass, CLee, and Fab Melo. My source is NBA 2K13. That's as good as Chris Broussard, no?

    • CelticsBIG3

      Chris Broussard is a bag of shit; so yes, a 2k13 trade is equivalent.

      • Anthony

        LOL… Come on, that's a fair trade for ATL. Danny Ferry gets the center that he wants and 2 solid rotation players. I'll even throw in a 2nd round pick.

        Just can't wait for the trade deadline to be over. Only 28 hours left.

    • CG12

      Broussard is terrible.

  • KillerGymRat

    Sounds like a lot of posturing to me. KG stated pretty-much flat out that there is no way he waves his trade clause for anyone.

    That deal was never going to happen, but I guess it looks better when you say you're the dumper…not the dumpee.

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