Got your industrial-size grains of salt?
Stephen A. Smith dropped a wicked crazy rumor today when he suggested the Celtics and Clippers could revisit discussions from earlier this season in a deal where the Celtics would acquire Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and, believe it or not, Doc Rivers. Via ESPN Boston, here’s the Smith quote:
“I am hearing that it is possible, that the Clippers — because Boston is going to probably ask for Blake Griffin. … Now obviously KG ain’t enough (to get Griffin). You package KG with Paul Pierce, that still isn’t enough. But the opportunity for them to play together is something both would like to continue to do. But it gets very interesting if you let go of your coach, and you say Doc Rivers, we’d like you to come with KG and Paul Pierce.”
Now, here’s the reality check: Smith didn’t confirm the two teams were talking. He just said the teams would eventually discuss it. There’s no indication whatsoever the Clippers would consider moving an emerging star like Griffin for a package of fading stars like Pierce and Garnett. And that’s before you throw in Bledsoe. There’s no indication the Celtics would release Rivers from his contract. There has been no assurance Garnett even wants to play next year.
There are a hundred reasons why this isn’t going to happen.
As is clear by now, Pierce and Garnett are tied together. It’s almost impossible to imagine one returning to Boston next year without the other. It’s possible you could add the suddenly-reticent-about-returning Rivers to this duo if it becomes (or is already) clear Danny Ainge is ready to move on from this core (that’s a decent bet even if Pierce and Garnett return; Ainge knows the championship window is closed and will be concerned about the future much more than any victory lap for his aging stars next year).
If Garnett and Pierce were to be moved to the same team, the Clippers would be a good bet to be the destination, particularly given their need to re-sign Chris Paul, who can’t be convinced he has championship-level parts around him after the Clips’ first-round exit. And with Vinny Del Negro likely on the way out, there may be a coaching vacancy that could draw Rivers’ attention, especially if it allows him to continue coaching Garnett and Pierce.
We could keep breaking this down but this barely qualifies as a rumor right now. Right now, it’s just a fun discussion as we enter an offseason where it’s entirely possible we’re in for big changes in the makeup of the Celtics.